Debates- Wednesday, 30th January, 2008

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Wednesday, 30th January, 2008

The House met at 1430 hours

[MR SPEAKER in the Chair]






Mr Speaker: Hon. Members, I wish to inform the august House that I have received notification that the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy, MMD, has appointed Hon Humphrey I. Mwanza, Member of Parliament for Solwezi West Parliamentary Constituency as Deputy Chief Whip.

I thank you.




The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, I thank you for the opportunity  to address the House on a matter of public interest, namely, the contamination of water in Mufulira by Mopani Copper Mines plc on 2nd January, 2008.

Sir, this was not the first time the contamination occurred through mining activities by Mopani Copper Mines Plc because A similar pollution incident occurred on 23rd November, 2005. The pollution incident of 2005 occurred during the trial phase of the in-situ leach operation. The objective of the in-situ leach operation is to recover copper that remains in the mined-out areas as follows:

(i) in the old underground workings and remnant pillars;

(ii) in the old stopes;

(iii) back filled in the stopes when mining is complete; and

(iv) Low grade material located between orebodies and the overlying oxide caps.

Mr Speaker, in the in-situ leaching method, copper is recovered from the ore when a dilute sulphuric acid solution percolates through the orebody, gradually dissolving the soluble minerals and thereby extracting the mineral. The resultant copper sulphate solution is known as pregnant leach solution (PLS).

This pregnant leach solution flows to the bottom of the old stopes through stainless steel or High Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) pipes by gravity to collection sumps. The solution is then pumped to the surface for copper recovery at the Solvent Extraction (SE) Plant and Electro Winning (EW) Plant.

Mr Speaker, premature failure of some acid proof equipment was experienced in 2005. This resulted into pump failures, leading to escape of some pregnant leach solution which found its way into the main mine water system. Some pregnant leach solution also found its way into the mine water system through old sub-levels, raises and other openings from the mine plants. The contaminated mine water eventually polluted domestic feed water to the surface water treatment plant which caused a major outcry from the Mufulira residents.

After this pollution incident, the Environmental Council of Zambia suspended the in-situ leach operations for ten days and imposed a fine on Mopani Copper Mines. Sir, in order to minimise the chance of a recurrence of the contamination, a number of remedial measures were taken on the surface and underground in 2005.

Mr Speaker, on the surface, the following were some of the measures implemented:

 (a) the pregnant leach solution and raffinate ponds were lined with high
density poly ethylene material to prevent seepage of the solution into the ground;

(b) surface tank enclosure bases were lined with impermeable water material to prevent leakage;

(c) pipelines were laid above ground for easy detection of leaks and maintenance; and

(d) in the electro winning tank house, Dowfax reagent was added to the cells as an acid mist suppressant.

Mr Speaker, underground, the following measures were taken in 2005:

At 500 metre level

At the time of the pollution incident in 2005, there was only one auxiliary pump which collected pregnant leach solution that flowed down to this level and re-directed it to the 430 metre level, therefore, the new installations were put in place as follows:

 (i) Two settling ponds with a holding capacity of 1900 cubic metres;

(ii) two pregnant leach solution sumps with a holding capacity of 2500 cubic metres;

(iii) pump station equipment with two stainless steel pipes, each with a pumping capacity 700 cubic metres per hour. Pumping was now directly into the surface pregnant leach solution holding ponds. One pump was designed to be always on standby; and

(iv) two independent pregnant leach solution flanged steel pipelines with an internal layer of high density poly-ethylene material to protect the pipelines from acidic solution attacks.
At 430 Metre Level

The existing 300 cubic metres per hour pumps, two were replaced with three 600 cubic metres pump per hour thus increasing pumping capacity.

At 200 Metre Level

 An additional 600 cubic metres per hour pumping capacity was installed. This increased the number of pumps from two to three.

 Mr Speaker, despite all those well intended measures, there was another pollution incident on the 2nd of January, 2008 around 0200 hours. Pregnant leach solutions spilled from the in-situ leach at 430 metre level and the solution flowed down into the water sumps located 830 metres level. The water from these sumps is pumped to the surface where it is treated by Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company for supply to majority of townships in Mufulira for domestic use. The people who drank the water at that time on 2nd January, 2008 experienced abdominal upsets and vomiting.

Sir, upon testing, the pH level in the water was at 4.8 as compared to the Environmental Council of Zambia prescribed range of between six and nine.

 About 450 people were attended to at Ronald Ross Hospital and out of this number, eighteen people were hospitalised for observation and were discharged the following day. Another 350 people were attended to at Malcolm Watson Hospital out of whom five were hospitalised for observation and discharged the following day.

Sir, the following were the main findings by Government officials from the Mines Safety Department and the Environmental Council of Zambia:

(i) the spillage of pregnant leach solution happened at 430 metres level where sumps for collecting the pregnant leach solution are located; 
(ii) this mixture overflowed from 430 metre level to 520 metre level sumps which were already full as the pump was out of order thereby overflowing further to 700 metres level where there was no pump attendant. The monitoring system was manual and there was no one on site to detect the spill and switch on he emergency pump at the 700 metre level; and

(iii) the mixture then overflowed to the industrial water sumps located at 830 metre level.

Sir, Government is extremely concerned that another incident of water contamination occurred this year. The following additional measures have been put in place to minimise further the chance of such an incident re-occurring:

(i) a second pump has been installed and commissioned at the 520 metre level pump station and two standby pumps which are already on order will be installed at the pump station;

(ii) two pH metres with sirens have been installed at the 436 metre level pump station and one more pH metre also with a siren has been installed at the Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company Treatment Station. This will ensure that prompt action is taken in the unlikely event that the pH of the domestic water goes below 6.4;

(iii) the underground storage of pregnant leach solution has been increased by elevating the walls in the settling ponds at 500 metre level and 660 metre levels;

(iv) a second pump has been installed into the sump at 750 metres level to minimise the time to switch on a standby pump in case of failure. A third pump has been placed on standby near the pump station; and
(v) the emergency procedure has been revised and posted at each working site underground.

Mr Speaker, investigations into the incident revealed that a pump attendant apparently failed to switch on an emergency pump on 730 metres level resulting in the pregnant leach solution seeping through the cracks in the formation above and overflowing into the mine water pumping station at the 810 metres level. There was also some severe lapses on the part of management. Consequently, apart from compelling the company to implement the various additional measures, Government through the Mines Safety Department took the following measures:

(i) the pump man was charged for negligence and fined;

(ii) the shift boss was charged for negligence and ineffective supervision and fined;

(iii) the underground manager was charged for ineffective supervision and fined; and

(iv) the mine manager has been charged for failure to provide general leadership and to ensure provision of emergency standby pumping facilities.

Further, the Environmental Council of Zambia suspended the in-situ operations due to failure by Mopani Copper Mines Plc to operate in accordance with the approved environmental management plan. The in-situ operations were only allowed to resume on the 5th of January, 2008 after Mopani Copper Mines had effected remedial measures I have stated above. The de-watering system underground was restored to normal operation by evening of 2nd January, 2008 and Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company commenced supply of water to the townships fourteen hours after the pollution incident occurred on 3rd January, 2008.

Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that Government has taken the following additional measures:

(i) reviewing outdated legislation to provide for stiffer penalties against erring companies and officials;

(ii) formulating the Mine Health and Safety Policy which will provide strict guidelines on safety and health issues in all areas where prospecting, exploration, mining and mineral processing activities are taking place within the country; and

(iii) strengthening the operation of the Mine Safety Department by providing additional resources to ensure improved monitoring of mining operations.

Mr Speaker, the House may further wish to know that Government is in the process of operationalising the Environmental Protection Fund. As part of this process, the following have been done:

(i) the Environmental Protection Fund Committee and the interim Fund Manager have been appointed;

(ii) the Director of Mines Safety has instructed mine developers to conduct environmental audits and come up with mine site classifications and contributions to the fund. The deadline for submission of the audit reports is 31st January, 2008;

(iii) an international validator has been engaged with the approval of the Mines Safety Department to carry out an independent validation of the audit reports submitted by mining companies; and

(iv) cash contributions by mining companies into the fund are expected to commence in April, 2008.

Further, the Environmental Council of Zambia has commenced a review of the Environmental Protection and Pollution Control Act. Penalties under this Act are currently not deterrent enough for companies to adequately invest in prevention of pollution.

Government through the Mines Safety Department and the Environmental Council of Zambia will continue to closely monitor mining operations including in-situ leaching to ensure maximum environmental protection and safeguard human life.

Mr Speaker, once again I thank you for your kind leave for me to make this statement.

I thank you.

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: Hon. Members may now ask questions on points of clarification on the statement which has been given by the Hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development.

Ms Mumbi (Munali): Mr Speaker, may I find out how qualified the people in the Water Regulatory Body are and what measures Government will take against such bodies which give misleading statements after something serious has happened to our people especially that Mulonga Water and Sewerage Company (MWSCO) gave a statement which is contrary to what the hon. Minister has told us today?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, all employees in the water utility companies are well qualified. They have been competently and competitively chosen to undertake what they are doing and are doing a commendable job hence we have no difficulties with that. However, if the officer concerned gave a misleading statement knowing that he was doing wrong, certainly he deserves to be punished but if he did not intend to mislead the public and the information he gave was the right information at the time that it was given, I do not think he deserves to be punished.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Milupi (Luena): Mr Speaker, a little bit of declaration of interest in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, I was Engineering Superintendent at Mufulira Mines and, therefore, I know the underground mine very well. Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister accept that  in a situation where domestic water for the whole of Mufulira town comes from two sources, which are underground water TD 10 and TD 11, and that the practice of pouring acid down the mine with the possibility of that acid percolating to where the source of water is, is a dangerous practice? I would also like the hon. Minister to tell us whether he has any plans at all to either stop the mine from pouring acid down the mine or stop the water company from drawing domestic water from underground and find new sources?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the use of acid in mining industries is well documented. It is a very important ingredient of mining. The in-situ operations Mopani Mine is using is the latest technology on the market in terms of mining in the areas that I have spoken about. However, what we should do in future is not to stop mining companies pumping water from the ground for domestic use, but ensure that water is safe by ensuring that there is no pollution. That is what Mopani Mines has done by ensuring that the capacity for pumping water is enhanced, provision of modern equipment is encouraged and also to install machinery that should trigger and warn people if pollution occurs. Those are things you should be looking at and not really stopping the mining companies from using acid.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr C. K. B. Banda (Chasefu): Mr Speaker, with regard to the fact that very senior officials in the mining company have been fined as a result of their admission of guilt, has Government taken any measures at all to ensure that the victims get the necessary compensation from the mining company?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we have looked at it from the point of view of offenders and have taken measures to punish those involved but the victims are certainly free to take whatever action necessary to redress their suffering.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kakoma (Zambezi West): Mr Speaker, the Hon. Minister did indicate that Mopani Copper Mines was fined for the pollution, may I find out from him how much Mopani Mines was fined and whether that amount was sufficient to deter this company from engaging in negligent activities in future?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the fines available are extremely low and they are not a deterrent and that is why we are taking steps to revise these fees and penalties. I have actually received complaints over this issue.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, if I could take part of Hon. Milupi’s question that was not answered. Every child in this country knows that you cannot put a water source and contaminate such as a latrine close together but that is exactly what we have in the case of Mufulira. The water that is supposed to be clean and the water that is contaminated is intermingled and physically close. Why can the Government not oblige Mopani Copper Mines to source clean water out of reach of the sulphuric acid of the copper sulphate? After all they have the money because they have not been paying meaningful tax.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, in answering Hon. Milupi’s question I informed the House that we should be looking at the ways and means of minimising contamination and pollution other than stopping Mopani Mines from using the water it generates from underground. I also mentioned that the increase in pump storage and the capacity, as well as new machinery or new equipment or modern technology can minimise the seepage and the eventual pollution of water systems. However, we can as a long term measure, appeal to Mopani Mines to source for an independent water supply for the residents.

I thank you, Sir.

Ms Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, arising from the answer given by the Hon. Minister that the mines may suffer punitive damages, I wish to find out whether they wish to take the legal route to ensure that these punitive damages are given. I also wish to find out whether the residents of Mufulira who are citizens of Zambia will be assisted in terms of legal representation, because legal charges are very dear and there is very limited manpower under the Legal Aid system. Are they going to be given priority in terms of representation by Government lawyers so that they can initiate the legal suit and two things have been proven here. There has been damage caused and negligence proven. Is this legal suit going to take place with the support of the Government?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, following the two pollution occurrences, Mopani Mines Plc, was fined, and this was followed by suspension of operations until remedial measures were taken. So, we thought that was punishment enough.

Regarding the residents of Mufulira who want to take legal action, there is a legal department under the Ministry of Justice and if the Minister of Justice thinks that they have a good case but they are indigent, then assistance can be provided.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Machungwa (Luapula): Mr Speaker, following up on the question by the hon. Member for Mufulira, it is clear that some of our citizens may not have the means to pursue legal action in court even though there is clear case of negligence or perhaps even criminal misconduct on the part of this organisation. Considering that Government is unwilling to come to the aid of our citizens who may not afford, will the Hon. Minister pledge that in the proposals to amend the Act he is bringing, he will put in a clause which will make it mandatory for these people to pay compensation to those who suffer damage or might be killed as a result of these incidents?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the way forward is to strengthen the documentary regime to ensure more accountability and swift action in terms of punishing those who will breach the regulations, therefore, Hon. Machungwa’s suggestion is useful, we can look at it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Muyanda (Sinazongwe): Mr Speaker, the Mines Safety Department plays a pivotal role in prevention of accidents and other incidences in the mining industry. What punishment has the Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development given to the Department who failed categorically to prevent and avert the disaster which happened in Mufulira.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, I want to confirm that the Mines Safety Department plays a pivot role in the policing and supervising the mining companies in the area of safety of workers and work places. However, their failure to prevent accidents is not punishable since it is attributed to us as Government for failing them by not providing equipment and more personnel. I would like to say that in the last couple of years, we have improved a lot of these officers, we have recruited more personnel and we have also provided more facilities like transport for them to be mobile. They are actually doing a very good job. I also want to say that there is a very active institution linkage between Environmental Council of Zambia and the Mine Safety Department and I would like to say that they are doing extremely well, but they just need more support and we will give them that support.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chongo (Mwense): Mr Speaker, let me also declare interest because I was a shift boss in the mine in question. Mr Speaker, in-situ leaching process is a process that sees to it that acid filters through the rock and probably settles in the aquifers. Now, what measures is the ministry going to put in place to ensure that miners do not drink the water that is drained out in the mines because there is inadequate capacity in the mine. 
Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, it is incumbent upon all of us not to drink contaminated water and so if the water is polluted you should not drink it.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, in Southern America they stopped using that in-situ leaching process because of the same problems that we are experiencing in Zambia. I do not know what measures Government is putting in place to ensure that a different source is found because it only costs about K7 billion to do that. Why is Government dilly-darling and delaying to find money to ensure that the people of Mufulira are protected by providing a different source at K7 billion.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the in-situ leaching method of mining is very modern. I am sure the hon. Member will agree with me that it recovers copper that otherwise would have been left behind due to normal mining operations, so it reclaims the rest that was left behind. Mopani Copper Mines is the pioneer of this technology in this country since they are the first ones to do that. I do not think we should discourage them from pursuing that technology and extending it to other mine operators. The issue of sourcing separate water sources is valid and we have taken note.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, in view of the question from the hon. Member for Sinazongwe and the answer by the hon. Minister that Government has failed the Mine Safety Department, could the hon. Minister therefore, say that they are part of this disaster and they should, therefore, apologise and compensate the victims.

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, we cannot go to that extent. All we are saying is that their failure to detect accidents before they occur is because we have not given them enough facilities. I did not say they are failures and they must apologise, no.

I thank you, Sir.




79. Mr Hamududu asked the Minister of Mines and Minerals Development:

(a) what progress had been made so far to revive mining activities in Kabwe; and

(b) whether the Government has offered special incentives to local and foreign investors who wish to invest in the mining activities in Kabwe and, if so, what they are.

The Deputy Minister of Mines and Mineral Development (Mr M. Mwale): Mr Speaker, the House may wish to know that ZCCM Investment Holdings has announced its offer to sell its retained assets of the Kabwe Mine to Alberg Mining and Minerals Exploration. ZCCM Investment Holdings will retain 20 per cent shares in the mine.

ZCCM Investment Holdings has been implementing the rehabilitation and de-commissioning plans of the Kabwe Mine since its closure in 1994. Some of the retained assets that were part of the rehabilitation and decommissioning plans have drawn interest from several mining companies which have shown interest in the re-opening of the Kabwe Mine. The upturn in the base mental prices has changed the value of these assets in Kabwe and hence, the interest of the developers.

The House may further wish to know that ZCCM Investment Holdings called for competitive bids. The main criteria that were used in the selection of the successful bidder included the following aspects:

(i) Technical capacity of the developer;
(ii) response to environment issues;
(iii) ability to finance operations;
(iv) ability to finance environmental remediation; and 
(v) local participation by Zambian citizens.

ZCCM Investment Holdings intends to start negotiations with Alberg Mining and Minerals Exploration, the successful bidder, on the terms and conditions of sale for the retained Mine Assets.

The re-opening of the mine will lead to employment generation and it is expected that the sale of the assets that is shafts and headgear will facilitate underground mining by 2009.

Mr Speaker, as regards to part (b), there are no special incentives offered to local or foreign investors who wish to invest in mining activities in this mine and indeed, elsewhere in the country. All the investors will be bound by the fiscal regime announced by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning in his Budget Address and the regulatory regime to be finalised and incorporated into the Mines and Minerals Act.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mushili (Ndola Central): Mr Speaker, would the hon. Minister tell the nation why the Government finds it impossible or difficult to make a deliberate policy of creating incentives for the local investors in the mining industry.

Mr Mwale: Mr Speaker, I would like to inform the House that the incentives that are offered to investors in the mining industry are not discriminatory. Any Zambian who wants to venture into mining will benefit from the incentives that are being offered such as the fiscal regimes that were announced as well as the Zambia Development Agency incentives.

I thank, Sir.

Mr Kakusa (Kabwe Central): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out how many local investors applied for this facility.

The Minister of Mines and Minerals Development (Dr Mwansa): Mr Speaker, for this particular mine, there were three bidders out of which Alberg was chosen. I want to say that the company that was chosen has five shareholders and three of these five are Zambian nationals. This is commendable and is the kind of thing that we want to see. In future, we want to see Zambians participating in mining to the extent that we have seen in this particular mine structure in terms of ownership. We are satisfied with this and I thank the Zambians who took the plunge to partner with foreigners to develop this asset. 

I thank you, Sir.

Reverend Nyirongo (Bwacha): Mr Speaker, since Kabwe Mine is going to be active again, what measures has the hon. Minister of Mines and Minerals Development put in place for the families that are residing inside the plant since some structures there were sold to some of them?

Dr Mwansa: Mr Speaker, the standard procedure is that if mining activities displace residents, it is incumbent upon the operator to resettle the people elsewhere with comparable or better accommodation and therefore, we will ensure that this is done. The same is happening between Ndola and Mufulira where First Quantum Mining Limited is doing exactly what Albidon Mining Limited is doing in Mazabuka. 

I thank you, Sir.


80. Mr D Mwila (Chipili) asked the Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry:

(a) how much would be invested in the Chambishi Multi Facility Economic Zone;

(b) how many jobs would be created for the following nationals:

(i) Zambians; and
(ii) Chinese; and

(c) how many houses would be built under the facility at (a) above.

The Deputy Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry (Ms Siliya): Mr Speaker, the Multi Facility Economic Zones (MFEZ) are special industrial zones for both export-oriented and domestic-oriented industries. The zones will have the necessary infrastructure for easy commencement and conduct of manufacturing activities.

Sir, US$900 million has been pledged to be invested in the Chambishi Multi Facility Economic Zone. So far, more than US$200 million has been spent on the construction of the Chambishi Copper Smelter, acid plant, water pump and pipeline and the development of the waste ore body.

With regards to part (b) of the question, the Government’s policy is to facilitate employment and wealth creation thus reducing poverty among Zambians. In this regard, the Government welcomes projects and investments that contribute to the creation of employment such as the MFEZ.

You may wish to note that about 6,000 direct and many indirect jobs will be created for Zambian nationals upon completion in 2011. Currently, 2,952 direct jobs have been created for Zambian nationals during the construction phase.

About 700 Chinese nationals are estimated top be employed from time to time upon completion in 2011. So far, 650 Chinese nationals have been employed from time to time. I again wish to note that 6,000 jobs will be created for Zambian.

In response to the last part of the question, I would like to say that over 3,500 housing units will be constructed in Chambishi and Kitwe.
I thank you, Sir.

Mr D Mwila: Mr Speaker, the hon. Minister has said that so far US$200 million has been invested and US$700 million is still outstanding. When are these Chinese investors going to fully implement this investment?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the MFEZ project is supposed to be finished in the next five years and that is by 2011. So far, preliminary work is being done to particularly put in place the relevant infrastructure such as electricity, roads and other supporting infrastructure for the smooth operation of the MFEZ and we are working very closely with the Chinese company that is putting up the MFEZ to ensure that it actually finishes on time. So you can be rest assured that the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry is very anxious to get this project completed on time.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out what special skills the 650 Chinese workers are bringing to Zambia which cannot be found in this country.


Mr Speaker: Order!

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, I think we all have to appreciate that a US$ 900 million project is big and if it is to finish on time in the next five years, it requires a lot of labour support. It is not just for Chambishi but even in Lumwana Mines. Mr Speaker, sometimes the investors find the necessary skills locally but it is not the numbers that they actually required. In this case, we have allowed them to bring Chinese nationals in the country particularly for the Chambishi Mine to come and work only for a certain period until the construction is finished.

I thank you, Sir.

Dr Scott: Mr Speaker, I would like to enquire on the status of this US$900 million proposed investment. Is it a promise, a contracted amount, an estimate, pie in the sky, birds in the bush or birds in the hand? Mr Speaker, we have given enormous tax breaks on the basis that this enormous amount investment is going to be made. If it is not, what will happen to those tax breaks?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, this is a serious Government and we mean well. We have gone into agreements with the Chinese Government and particularly, the Chinese company that is constructing the Multi Facility Economic Zone (MFEZ). The US$900 million is a lot of investment and in the next five years, this will be realised because right now, the US$200 million that has been spent has been on some of the preliminary works. By the time the MFEZ is complete, there will be a lot of companies in there, both Chinese and Zambian and we hope that more Zambians will be working actively as well to partner and also go in their solo, therefore, this is truly an opportunity for us as Zambians.

I know that the Multi Facility Economic Zone is a new phenomenon in Zambia, but for those of us that have been privileged to see this concept in reality in China know that it works and so, if you can just be a little bit patient by 2011, I am sure we will deliver.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kambwili (Roan): Mr Speaker, the Deputy Minister indicated that at the moment 650 Chinese jobs and 2000 Zambian jobs have been created. Surely, this is a ratio of 1:3, are we not just creating employment for the Chinese?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, it is this Government’s responsibility to ensure that we provide an opportunity for Zambians, either to be self-employed or to be employed by somebody else and we are truly committed to that objective.

The US$900 million investment in Chambeshi is a mind boggling investment and for it to be successful in the next five years, we need a lot of labour force there. Once the Chinese complete the MFEZ, they are not going to carry it with them back to Beijing, they are going to leave it here and it will be the Zambians who will be working there.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Simama (Kalulushi): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out from the hon. Minister that besides the mining investment which is currently taking place in Chambeshi Multi Facility Economic Zone, what other types of business investments are we expecting in this zone?

Ms Siliya: Mr Speaker, the MFEZ on the Copperbelt will focus on the manufacturing sort of businesses, but we are working again with the Chinese for a sub MFEZ in Lusaka where we hope that we will have processing industries. We are also working with the corporation of the Japanese through JICA and some consultants from Malaysia to put up a high tech MFEZ park in Lusaka and so it is not just in mine related industries like the MFEZ on the Copperbelt but we would like to see investments in other areas as well.

I thank you, Sir.{mospagebreak}


81. Mr Chazangwe (Choma Central) asked the Minister of Education:

(a) whether the matter involving the suspension of teachers in Senanga in the Western Province over hardship and rural allowances had been resolved; and

(b) whether the affected teachers were receiving their allowances.

The Deputy Minister of Education (Mr Sinyinda): Mr Speaker, our response is as follows:

(a) the matter involving the suspension of teachers in Senanga in the Western Province over hardships and rural allowances has now been resolved and the affected teachers have started teaching; and

(b) the teachers who are eligible are now receiving their allowances.

I thank you, Sir

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!


82. Mr Ntundu (Gwembe) asked the Minister of Energy and Water Development:

(a) how much hydro-electric power Zambia imports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) annually and at what cost;

(b) how much hydro-electric power Zambia exports to Zimbabwe annually and how much was earned; and

(c) how much money Zimbabwe paid to ZESCO for using the Zambian power line to transmit imported power from the DRC.

The Deputy Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Sichilima): Mr Speaker, as the question does not specify the period in which the transactions were done, I shall report for the most recent financial year ending 31st March, 2007.

(a) Mr Speaker, Zambia did not import electricity from the Democratic Republic of Congo during the financial year ending 31st March, 2007;

(b) during the said period, Zambia exported 98,208 mega watts of electricity at a total cost of US$10,766; and

(c) during the same period, the National Utility of Zimbabwe paid ZESCO Limited US$427,046.93 for hauling its power imports from the DRC through ZESCO power lines.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Ntundu: Mr Speaker, to correct the hon. Deputy Minister, the question says annually. May I find out from the hon. Minister how much money the Zimbabwean Government has paid ZESCO and how much money the Zimbabwean Government owes ZESCO. Mr Speaker, as far as I am concerned, Zimbabwe is not paying.

The Minister of Energy and Water Development (Mr Konga): Mr Speaker, as the Deputy Minister has responded, from what period did the hon. Member want this question answered? The answer that has been given is for the year ending 31st March, 2007 and the response is very elaborate for the last financial year.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, may I find out why electrical energy is cheaper in DRC when most of it is coming from Zambia. An average household in DRC pays K2,000 per month while in Zambia for the same one would pay about K200,000 per month. May I know why this is so?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I would like to request the hon. Members of this august House to come with facts. We must not mislead, first of all, this House and the general public at large. There is evidence on record that the statistics for all generation and retail power sales in the region is collected and published by the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) for all the various electricity utilities in the region. If the hon. Member cared, he can find out that information from the SAPP. The tariffs in the DRC are nowhere from what he is mentioning.

As a matter of fact, other than Zimbabwe, Zambia does have the lowest tariffs.

Only yesterday, for the benefit of the House, there was a programme that was aired on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Africa where it was indicated that the tariff in South Africa now stands at 20 cents per kW hour but in Zambia, it is only 3 cents per kW hour. Therefore, Sir, I really do not know where the hon. Member gets his facts from. If he has any queries, I request that he comes to see us.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Habeenzu (Chikankata): Mr Speaker, I would like to find out if there are any consequences that will arise if Zambia stopped exporting power to Zimbabwe to stop the blackouts that are the order of the day at the moment in this country. Could the hon. Minister shed light on that?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, very often as I did last week, I request hon. Members of the House to pay particular attention to the ministerial statements that are given. It is obvious the hon. Member did not pay particular attention to the ministerial statements. I did indicate in that ministerial statement that the inter-connector to Zimbabwe had been disconnected implying that ZESCO was no longer exporting any power to any other country. I hope the hon. Member will take note of that statement this time.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Dr Scott (Lusaka Central): Mr Speaker, following up on that, in the last two weeks, Zambia has imported power from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as well as stopped communicating with Zimbabwe. Can we have from the hon. Minister the new picture of imports and exports which seems to be completely different from the picture described for the financial year ending in 2007. Where are we going hon. Minister?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, it is true that Government indicated that exports of power to the region have in the interim been suspended. However, due to challenges that the local utility has been facing, they had requested to collaborate with the supplier of energy to the mines to have supplementary energy in form of electricity supplied to augment the one from ZESCO. To this effect, there has been some imports from the DRC. primarily to augment the generation from ZESCO. This power is not coming to specific sectors of the economy but more or so to the mining sector.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mrs Masiye (Mufulira): Mr Speaker, considering the answer given by the hon. Minister to the question by the hon. Member for Kantanshi, I wish to find out whether the hon. Minister does realise that comparing unequal economies is undependable and unreasonable? South Africa and Zambia have two different levels of standard of living and as such, does he agree with me that it is the costing system which in actual fact needs to be addressed and that those comparisons are not dependable?

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, I am grateful for that question. I suppose the hon. Member for Mufulira is aware that save for the water which flows to generate this power and may be the cost of labour, everything else is the same. Mr Speaker, everything else  used to generate this power is identical in most cases in Zambia as well as in any other country including in South Africa for that matter.

Hon. Government Member: Sense!

Mr Konga: The equipment that is used to generate power uses the same conductor, turbines and transmission equipment, let me just say the equipment that is used to make this power available to the public is similar and the source of this equipment might even be cheaper in some of these countries than here because some of these countries make the equipment for themselves and even though this country has cheaper rates, we still have to import this equipment. Therefore, Sir, whereas we try to compare Oranges to Lemons, I think we must not compare Guavas to Pawpaws.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.


Ms Mumbi: Mr Speaker, I am sure the hon. Minister is aware that these high tariffs are affecting everybody in our country including orphanages and hospices. I would like to know whether the Government is giving consideration to our orphanages and hospices. I have in mind the Kalingalinga Orphanage which is about to close because it is being charged electricity at commercial rates. Could some consideration be given?

Mr Speaker: This question departs from the main question but if the hon. Minister shows compassion he is free to answer this question.

Mr Konga: Mr Speaker, this Government is very compassionate and so we will show compassion.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Konga: The tariff structure that the local electricity supplier charges is not a standard tariff structure. There are different categories of consumers who are charged at different tariffs or rates. One of such rates is the one which takes into account social services such as hospices that the hon. Member has talked about. This tariff is actually far from being the commercial rate that the local electricity supplier charges.

Mr Speaker, I would request the hon. Member to liaise with ZESCO on that matter to see if the hospice has any challenges and may be they can find ways on how they can address these challenges together. However, I would like to confirm that the rate that the local utility charges institutions like hospices is the lowest amongst all the tariffs in the country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker: We move to the next question. Hon. Member for Chienge? The hon. Member is not in the House.

Hon. Government Members: He is here! (Pointing at the hon. Member for Nalolo  - Mr Mwangala).


Mr Speaker: Is he there? The question has lapsed.

Hon. Members: Here! He is here!


Mr Speaker: He is not in the House, I would have seen him.





(Debate Resumed)

Major Chizhyuka (Namwala): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on this Motion. Sir, I was told by some of the hon. Members on your Right that I have been too quiet.


Major Chizhyuka: Therefore, I rise, today, to break the silence.

Mr Speaker, in contributing to the debate on  the Motion on the Floor of the House, I would like to say that I was impressed with the debate that was made by the hon. Member for Livingstone (Hon. Sikota) when he quoted Charles Dickens during his debate on the Presidential Speech. It made me wonder whether we could not draw a parallel line from George Bernard Shaw and Captain Roberd de Boudrecou …


Major Chizhyuka: … and Mrs Manett.

I then started reflecting on Chinua Achebe and his ‘Things Fall Apart’ where he talked about the men with clothes like butterflies and that the African had to be aware. I left that a little in suspense because I realised that these are modern times and the epoch of belief, as far as I am concerned, is vest in a book written by the new sensation of America, Barak Obama, known as, ‘Audacity of Hope.’ On page 22 of his 375 documents, I quote:

“What is troubling is the gap between the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics, the ease with which we are detracted by the petty and trivial. Our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our seemingly inability to build a working consensus, to tackle any big problem,

He adds,

“Privately, those of us in Government will acknowledge this gap between the politics we have and the politics we need.”

Mr Speaker, in contributing to the debate on the Motion, I would like to say that the magnitude of the challenges of politics is the theme of my debate today.

Mr D. Mwila: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, some of the moneys that are constituted in this budget process are monies that are going towards the construction of the residence of Dr D. K. Kaunda, first Republican President of the country. I would like to say that the action to build a permanent residence for the former president and indeed, any former president is commendable. It is commendable, but I have said that in the audacity of change, we have to deal with issues of the magnitude of our challenges and the smallness of our politics.

Mr Speaker, whilst it is commendable that the former president is going to have his residence built in a permanent place so that he and his family will have a permanent residence. Is it not ironic that this Government has decided that the only person that must have a house built for him should only be a former president.

Sir, my heart goes out to those men and women who rose before 1957 to forge a struggle for the independence of this country. They came from all the nine provinces of this country. These were people like Nalumino Yesu Mundia, Pikson Chitambala, Mama Julia Chikamoneka …


Major Chizhyuka: … the list is endless. They rose together with KK. They fought and won the independence for this country. They formed the first Government with a view to developing our country. They built the skyscrapers that we see and are proud of on the Cairo Road.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, the families of those ministers, those deputy ministers, those governors etc, live in squalor, in social degradation and poverty and yet, we have only considered that only one person should have a permanent residence. If this Government has the magnitude of politics, they should think of the many others who toiled and fought for the independence of this country so that as we deal with the Budget, we must be seen to be a set of leaders that takes care of its former leaders. Why should it make sense that we should pay other speakers of the National Assembly and deny others? Where is the magnitude of the politics? Is it a question of pettiness of politics?

For me, these are issues that this House needs to consider. I appeal to the wisdom of this House that we should, as a House, be able to deal squarely with these matters. Even as we raise the next 400 million dollars we should be thinking that the ones that gave us the opportunities that we have are those men and women who, some of them, sacrificed their education in order to fight for the independence of this country so that Hon. Lungwangwa can be a Minister today.

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, on the smallness of our politics, it has been a year since I stood on the Floor of this House to give my maiden speech and in that speech, I talked about issues affecting the land from Livingstone up to Mulungushi which has mostly been turned into a whitestan.

Mr Speaker, the House will recall my sentiments with regards to the plateau in Southern Province and the fact that it is called the Tonga Plateau because it belongs to the Tonga People. On the onset of colonialism, the Tonga People were driven from their plateau to Mulungushi in Central Province. They were sent up the hills in Sianjalika where they see the sunset at 1600 hours.


Major Chizhyuka: Sir, the others were sent down to the plateau.

Sir, what is obtaining in the Kafue Valley today is that there are floods from Mazabuka to Shuumbwamuntu in Kalomo in Chief Shezongo’s area. A woman was holding on to a tree with a baby on her back trying to get to dry land for two day and this Government is saying people should go to the upper land. Can this Government tell me where these people are expected to go to because the land is occupied by a white farmer who came in 1902. In any case, how much profit does a farmer who has been farming from 1902 need? That is the magnitude of the pettiness of the politics.

Sir, when you are in Government, those are big decisions to make. There is no way a white farmer who has only three children can own 120,000 hectares of land in Zambia. This can make four farms. I think that is too much for one person and that is exactly what Mr Barrack Obama talks about, ‘pettiness of politics.’


Mr Speaker: Order! Hon. Member for Namwala will ignore the hecklers and address the Chair. That way, he will be safe.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer!

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I am talking about pettiness of politics.

Mr Speaker, in this House, we should be able to move on and not allow white Stans in this country.  The reason why there was so much pomp when the Iatola Ruhola Komein came in Iran was specifically because the Iranians were fed up of the Shar. The Shar of Iran created a white Stan called Little America.  Those of you who read about politics, understand that there was an area called Little America in the middle of Iran and the Iranians were not happy about it and they decided to get rid of the Shar and they did and a revolution came in the name of the Iatola Ruhola Komein.

Mr Speaker, therefore, we ask our colleagues who are vested with the responsibility of running Government to deal with the issue of land in Southern Province because we want our land back. The basis of the struggle for independence of this country, for some of you, was a struggle to get into power and lead but for us, it was a struggle to get our land back, so that  we do not die like that woman who held on to the tree for two days in the flood. She had nowhere to go and yet the motherland is up there. Have you ever heard of a white man complaining that he has no land or he is affected by floods today?


Mr Speaker: Order! I wish to guide the House and that is only a reminder that there is an article in the Republican Constitution clearly speaking against matters of race, tribe, sex, age and other matters of that nature. That article which was passed as part of the constitution which was passed here, and handed over since 1963 or 1964 must be respected. What you can do, if you relate this to matters of land, is to deal with this matter next door. That is why it pays to belong to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker: You will deal with these matters over there but even as you deal with them, do all you can to avoid racism or even the perception of racism. Deal with issues. As I was saying, the Chair is not necessarily criticising the hon. Member for Namwala but the hon. Member for Namwala has reminded the Chair to guide the House that there is an article in the Principle Law of the Land against matters of race or colour. The hon. Member may continue.

Major Chizhyuka: Mr Speaker, I think that can be substituted by saying, people who came from England.


Major Chizhyuka: Sir, these are matters that we should be able to deal with. I know that some people are very comfortable but the tendency of wanting to go into the realm of comfort when addressing matters is the reason why we end up as losers. South Africa has the Black Empowerment Policy and we have the Citizens Empowerment Policy. What citizens, it should be called the Black Empowerment Policy because the connotation should be correct.


Major Chizhyuka: Therefore, if you do not want to call those people as white people, address them as people who came from England because those are descendants of Mr Cecil John Rhodes. Sir, what have the Lamba People benefited from the mines in their area? You will find that they are the poorest people today and yet, look at the emeralds in their area. Chief Nkana still uses a candle light…


Major Chizhyuka: … and yet the ones who have got the mineral wealth live in splender in ivory towers and you want to address these matters on the realm of comfort. This is our country.

Mr Speaker, I want to also deal with the issue of the mineral taxation. I was going through the Presidents Speech and I found that when you add all the countries listed and divide them by the number of the countries, the average is actually 47 per cent and yet we should have had a justification. I think this is to enable us go back to the international community and say that we have increased only to the average. In my vocabulary and in the manner I deal with things, we should have looked at the material issues associated with that average.


Sir, for instance, do you know that the price of Nickel at Munali which includes labour and everything else associated with it is US$2 per ounce. Do you know that the actual pegged price of Nickel is US$9 per ounce? Do you know that the actual price of Nickel today is $14.7?

Mr Nsanda: US $16.

Major Chizhyuka: Has it gone to US$16?

Mr Nsanda: Yes.

Major Chizhyuka: Thank you. Sir, what this means is that the investor has finished all his costs in the US$2. His windfall is between US$2 and US$16, and yet, you sit here and draw a calculation of percentages according to other countries and say Mozambique, 57 per cent, Angola, so and so per cent, etc, and come up with averages and the President comes to announce the 47 per cent.

I want to quote what a Boer Judge Pieter Thirion, said in the book written by Professor Duncun Innes, “Anglo American and the rise of Modern South Africa”. He says and I quote:

“It is one of the ironies of history that a struggling under developed country such as Zambia should have created the original wealth which enabled the South African multi-national to be become subsequently the largest foreign investor in the world’s most developed Capitalist States”.

Mr Speaker, this is a judgment in which he was considering the DeBeers’ operations in Namibia and he was making reference to that. A Boer in South Africa is telling you colleagues who are now in Government, that you are asleep.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: This is your wealth. You are the leadership and the epitome of everything that happens in this country.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Major Chizhyuka: Everything evolves around you, including the capital flight. When the time does come, we shall have to take stock of whether the time you stood on the isle, you took up the responsibilities and took care of the wealth of this country in accordance with the powers vested in you by the people of this country.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe (Dundumwezi): Mr Speaker, thank you for according me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the 2008 Budget address. First of all, I want to ask the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning one simple question. He has come to this House with the theme “unlocking resources for economic empowerment and wealth creation”. The first question I want to ask him is who locked our resources.


Hon. Opposition members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: The second question I want to ask is has he got the right key to open up these resources.

Hon. Opposition Member: Quality!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, going back to yesterday’s debate by my colleague Hon. Mbewe, who bemoaned that we should not complain because most of the resources have been re-directed to Southern Province, I wish to inform him that the people of Dundumwezi this morning called me and they want him to tell this House where these resources are in Southern Province.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, firstly, the people of Dundumwezi are saying that in the last ten years, the only roads that we have were created by our own animals.


Mr Sing’ombe: In the last ten years, no single road has been graded in my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker is he telling me that it is true that the MMD hon. Ministers have these resources. My constituency is asking how many schools have been built in the last five years or nine years. From the time our forefathers got the freedom, not a single high school has been built for the people of Dundumwezi.

Hon. Member: Shame!

Mr Sing’ombe: What resources are you talking about my brother? Therefore, we have the right to complain. The people of Dundumwezi are crying when they see volumes of water leaving their homes to unknown destinations. Why do we fail to construct dams so that we can harvest these volumes of water?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, this Government has created poverty in my constituency.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, they told the people of Dundumwezi that K54 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives. They went ahead to tell the people of my constituency to deposit huge sums of money in anticipation of receiving fertiliser. To-date, the people are still queuing up…

Mr Milupi: To get their money back.

Mr Sing’ombe: …to get their money back. The acting hon. Minister of Agriculture and Co-operatives can confirm that I had a delegation of about six people who travelled to come and see him over refunds but to-date, they have not been given.

Hon. Member: And fertiliser is locked.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, it is very embarrassing for this Government when they fail to instruct Finance Bank in Kalomo, to give a poor woman K500,000, which she deposited to receive fertiliser. You are saying this fertiliser is meant for the vulnerable but viable people. I would like to know how you classified them. Did you classify and identified them correctly and then you failed to give them the fertiliser. What do you want to achieve at the end of the day?

Mr Speaker, this Government is saying we have floods, where do you want the water to go when you have not constructed dams?

Mr Milupi: Let it run naturally.

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, Dundumwezi has probably 10 per cent to 15 per cent of floods and the rest of the land is dry and you have failed to give them fertiliser. Do you have enough resources to feed the constituency and the nation? You are now boasting that helicopters are flying in Southern Province, distributing food.

 Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe:  Let me tell you …

Hon. Opposition Member: Hammer!

Mr Sing’ombe: … these floods have not brought hunger in Southern Province. We had enough food.


Mr Sing’ombe:  Where has our food gone? We have sold our food because you have failed to give us fertiliser.


Mr Sing’ombe: That is why we do not have food.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, let me come to the hon. Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources. We were told that tourism has grown to about 5 per cent. When we come to power…

 Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, when we come into power, we will ensure that the tourism industry grows.


 Mr Speaker: Order! Order! The Chair wishes to protect the hon. Member for Dundumwezi…

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Speaker:…and to remind you that even independents can come to power.

 He may continue, please.

 Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for educating those who did not know that even independent hon. Members of Parliament can come to power.

Mr Speaker, I was saying that when we come to power, we will ensure that the tourism industry grows from 5 per cent to 10 per cent or even 15 per cent.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: What mechanism are we going to put in place? Simple! We will ensure the Ministry of Home Affairs does not send people abroad who do not understand immigration issues. Let me tell you this, any foreigner who comes to Zambia has a bearing on tourism. How? This Government has continued through the Ministry of Home Affairs sending unqualified people, cadres and people from other departments other than the Immigration Department who understands how a visitor must be treated.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Sir, when a foreigner wants to come to Zambia, they must get a VISA from the nearest mission abroad. A desk person will be the one to ask that particular person the reasons for coming Zambia. If it is business, he/she must be classified as a business visitor. If he is coming for tourism, he must be classified as a tourist.

Mr Speaker, what happens is that here is a person who is coming for business prospects in Zambia, but he is given a VISA to come as a tourist. When he lands at the Lusaka International Airport, he finds qualified vigilant immigration officers and when they ask him why he is in the country, he says he is  here for business but he will be told that but the VISA says he has come as a tourist. In some cases, such people are sent back and what picture do they portray when they get back? They say that Zambia is a bad country.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: In some cases, fines are leveled against them. Sometimes, they are told to pay K1,080,000.00. What picture do they portray when they go back? Therefore, we will make sure that when we come into power, such lacunas are removed.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I would like to ask the hon. Minster of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources to sit closely with other ministers. Ministries should not work in isolation but make sure that the Ministry of Home Affairs handles these people in a very good way so that when they go back, they are able to sale our country properly. Stop sending cadres or officers from passport office because they do not understand immigration issues.

Mr Speaker, the people of Dundumwenzi are saying they do not understand this budget because it is very complicated to them and they do not know whether what they see in the Yellow Book is supposed to go to them.

For instance, in 2006, K230 million was allocated to work on the Kalomo/Dundumwenzi Road. Where has that money gone? What you have done this year is that instead of putting Kalomo/Dundumwenzi Road, you have diverted by putting the Kalomo/Chinkata Road …

Mr Speaker: Order!

Business was suspended from 1615 hours until 1630 hours.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was about to say that in my father’s house, there are so many rooms.

 Hon. PF Member: Hear, hear!

 Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, I alluded this to the fact that we want a serious Government and we also want people who mean well. May I assure hon. Members especially on your right that they should not fidget because we will make sure that most of those who we know mean well in the development of this country are retained.

 Mr Munaile: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: We will make sure that we recruit people like the hon. Minister of Local Government and Housing (Mrs Masebo) in our Government because we still have a lot of places.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, people like the hon. Minister of Education may also be recruited in our Government because he is doing well in my constituency. I know that Jonathan Sim Chikanta High School will be opened for Grade 10 intake this year. I would like to thank the hon. Minister for that assurance. I know you will do it because you have done it elsewhere like in Chibombo and other places. Anyway, we will consider you.


Mr Sing’ombe: Mr Speaker, lastly, we need the presence of Government in my constituency. I also want to appreciate the hon. Minister of Health for opening up Chilala Health Centre. Mr Speaker, without this health centre, I am sure, my constituency was going to be in a very big problem. Most of the roads leading to institutions like Macha Hospital are impassable. We have some bridges which were constructed and within a month, they collapsed and this happened in the dry season. Most of the people cannot go to Macha Hospital because we cannot cross Munike River which leads to Macha Hospital.

Sir, I cannot go to Kalomo because most of the roads as I said were created by our animals and they can not carry patients to Kalomo Hospital, therefore, I wish to ask the hon. Minister of Works and Supply to visit my constituency and see for himself what I am talking about. This thing of only visiting some areas and regard other constituencies not to be important is very bad.

 I invite each and every hon. Minister to come to my constituency and see the infrastructure that is there at the moment. In one area where there are floods, most of the schools have collapsed. I am very disappointed that the Disaster Management Unit in the Office of the Vice-President is busy covering up these issues and yet, they have not been to my constituency. I urge hon. Ministers to come to my constituency so that they see for themselves what I am talking about.

The hon. Deputy Minister, Hon. Akakandelwa, last year visited my constituency and made things easy for the people in the area. Things started moving. Those who had not been paid their money were paid after a report was made to the President. I urge hon. Ministers to be mobile, they should not just sit in their offices because the country is large and as such, I therefore, invite all of you.

 Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga (Mulobezi) Mr Speaker, thank you for giving me an opportunity to contribute to the debate on the budget speech which was delivered by the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.

Sir, if you look at the produced speech which we have read and digested, it follows what His Excellency the President said at the opening of Parliament this year. Therefore, Sir, you can see how coordination works in a well coordinated Government and party the MMD.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Question!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I want to congratulate the Hon. Minister, the Deputy Minister, Hon. Jonas, and the Permanent Secretary and everybody else …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Hon. Opposition Members: Question!

Mr Mabenga: … on working well in ensuring that they brought a speech which brings out points that are convincing to any one who wants to read, digest and understand what has been written there.

Sir, I have noted with satisfaction the involvement of the Bank of Zambia in ensuring that it monitors the activities of the financial institutions in this country. It is very important that the Bank of Zambia takes a leading role in showing how financial matters are handled. Mr Speaker, I, Therefore, want to take this special opportunity to congratulate the Bank of Zambia Governor and his very able staff on coming on board to help in this field.

Mr Speaker, in my view, what has come out of the speech by the Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning which I will refer to very soon, is the decision that this Government made to align itself to progressive countries like China, …

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … India and Russia and not Taiwan.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Hon. Member: There is no government in Taiwan!

Mr Mabenga: I want to look at page 1 of the speech and quote:

“Mr Speaker, preliminary estimates indicate that the world economy registered a robust real GDP growth of about 5.0 per cent, largely driven by strong expansion in China, India and Russia. These favourable developments mitigated the lower growth recorded in the advanced economies, especially the United States, which experienced a significant reduction in investments in residential property.”

It is, therefore, proper that this Government chose to align itself to countries that have been expanding their economies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Shakafuswa: Not Britain and America!

Mr Mabenga: Not Britain and America and not you!


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, as we have seen for ourselves, Zambia is now internationally accepted as an industrial and economically progressive country on the world scene.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: This is the reason we see a lot of investors coming to this country.

Mr Muntanga: President Mabenga!


Mr Mabenga: Listen, you Albino!


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Do not engage …


The Deputy Chairperson: Can we have order in the House. Order! Do not engage the Member debating in other discussions, please.

Could the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, a country’s economic development is measured by a number of commercial banks that have opened up businesses in a country. Today, if go to almost every part of this country, you will find commercial banks that have been opened. If you go to Lukulu, you will find that a bank will be opened soon. Apart from the two banks that are there already in Mongu, we are going to have two banks opening there.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: In Senanga a bank opened last week.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mufumbwe is on the plan. If you come to Lusaka, you will find that a bank is either opened up or is about to open. That is what we mean by economic growth of a country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!


Mr Kambwili: Cheap economics!

Mr Mabenga: Where conditions are not viable, banks will never open.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: So, it is important that we take note of these things.


Mr Mabenga: Do not stand up to talk just because you want to talk but only talk if you are going to move what is important for the people of this country.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Mabenga: It is important, therefore, to understand the fact that as banks get built, they will be able to service the people in every corner of this country. You will not expect people to move from Kaputa to come to Lusaka and ask for a loan, they will have a bank in Kaputa.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: That is economic development.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: We want people to understand this because it is very important. Sir, we all know the inflation rate which was achieved and which still stands at single digit rate and running for the second year.

Mr Speaker, if you look at the speech and read further, you will discover that a number of industrial opportunities have taken route in this country. They have taken route in order to empower the local Zambian in one way or another. For example, in the construction industry, you all know that a few years ago you only had the National Housing Authority in this industry but today we have the Meanwood Properties that are building houses, whether they are expensive or not what is important is the fact that it is a Zambian who is running this business. That is what is important.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: And not Albinos.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Government Member: Za yellow!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The hon. Member for Mulobezi should really be kind to the group of people he has mentioned because they too are listening. So, once you say, “not those”, they will feel degraded.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Can you continue, please.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Opposition Members: Withdraw!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

Hon. Opposition Members: Withdraw!

Mr Mabenga: I withdraw that statement.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear! Seminar!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I am emphasising the fact that every human being in this country, whatever descendants they come from, are all one and are actually taken as one. I did not demean anyone in this country to be subhuman at all, no.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I have been emphasising on the construction industry. Today, we see almost everyone being engaged in building houses of their own.

Hon. Opposition Member: Not possible!

Mr Mabenga: Yes, almost everyone.

Hon. Government Member: Do not answer them, just address the Chair.

Mr Mabenga: Almost everyone is busy building houses of their own. That is very important because when people are going to have their own shelter, then they will not be losing any money for rent. Whether the house is small or big, the important thing is that they will have their own shelter. If you go round Lusaka you will find a lot of structures coming up which shows that a lot of people have interest in the construction industry. For example, Meanwood Development Housing Scheme is something that we have to take very seriously.

Mr Mukanga: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! A point of order is raised. But before I grant the hon. Member that point of order, I want to say that when somebody is debating, it is only right and proper that we listen. If you have any contrary view, you can rebut that at an opportune time. You were discussing in that group and the Chair deliberately held on because the Chair thought that you were going to stop talking and now you are raising a point of order. I am not saying you are the one who was talking, but the talking was coming from that group. Can you raise your point of order?


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member who is an aspiring candidate for the Presidential race in MMD, in order to stand on the Floor of this House and mention that everyone is building in this country, when the cost of cement is beyond reach. Is he in order to continue mentioning that when cement is also scarce. I need your serious ruling, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The serious ruling here is that the hon. Member is expressing an opinion and he is entitled to do that.

Can the hon. Member continue, please?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, first, let me correct a certain notion here. I have never told anyone …

Hon. Opposition Member: Wayowa.

Mr Mabenga: No there is no kuyowa.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mabenga: I have never told anyone for the present.

Hon. Opposition Member: You told me.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, it is not right that the hon. Member there should talk about things which are not true.


Mr Mabenga: Talk about yourself and your problems in the PF.


Mr Mabenga: Your friends have left you.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Hon. Members, let us be serious because the people out there are listening. If we give them the impression that we come here to make jokes, they will not take us seriously. I made a ruling hon. Member that you were expressing an opinion so do not bother about qualifying your point and so on. Can you come to your point.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I was talking about the construction industry and I was saying that a lot of people - when one says almost, it does not mean everybody. That is English.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! I really find this unbelievable.

Mr Mabenga: Yes!

The Deputy Chairperson: You are honourable and this is the reason you put us here to ensure that the proceedings of the House go uninterrupted, but if you are going to continue interrupting while seated, it does not augur well.

Can the hon. Member continue, please?

Mr Mabenga: Thank you, Mr Speaker, for guiding someone there.


Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, I was emphasising on the good things that have come into the minds of the Zambian people. The majority of people are working very hard to ensure that they build their own shelters and this is seen everywhere. If you go to every part of this country, you will find that this is an affair that everybody else is engaged in.

Furthermore, Mr Speaker, we see a lot of companies coming up which have been brought about by Zambians. I do not know whether they go into partnership with other people, but they are involved in civil works. Now, there are a lot of companies which are out there and some Members may actually be part and parcel of those companies that are involved in civil works. It is gratifying to note that the local Zambians are getting involved in this because this is one way of ensuring that the Zambian is empowered economically. No matter how little they get, what is important is that they are able to stand on their own and be able to live even after they retire from public service, instead of clinging to work after they have retired.

Mr Speaker, this is important and I want to pay tribute to the National Construction Council for doing a commendable job by advertising so that people can come forward to take up trainings for entrepreneurship in different fields including in construction. This is is very important and it is in line with what the President said when he opened this Parliament and also what the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning said in his Budget Speech here.

Hon. Opposition Member: Unlocking!

Mr Mabenga: Yes, he is un-rocking.

Mr Speaker, another important point that I want to talk about that has come out very strongly in the Minister’s speech is the tourism industry.

Hon. Government Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, what we have seen and learnt from the speech is that the number of tourists actually grew by a big margin from 2006 to 2007, meaning that, the tourists want to see these tourist places in this country. Mr Speaker, for this I commend the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources…

Mr Konga: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: … for doing a commendable job of selling Zambia to the outside world.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker, this is very important because if we do not do that, then we will not be able to get the much needed resources that would be left by the tourists as they come to this country. You can read from the speech where it says, the country earned a total of US$177 million in 2006 as compared to US$188 million in 2007.

This is a big margin and means that the tourism industry has really grown. I, therefore, want to borrow words from my younger who invited a good number of people to come and invest in the tourism industry. It is very important that people begin thinking of that. People must also come in and invest in education by building and opening schools and training institutions that will be able to empower us. Sir, Uganda has a lot of  last time I was talking about private universities being built and opened here. We were actually giving a lot of commendations to Professor Mwansa and his team and the professor here (pointing at Professor Lungwangwa). It does not end here, there are a lot of people who can do wonders after they retire since this is not a House you stay in forever …

Mr Mubika: Mwila!

Mr Mabenga: … you will leave it one day. Hon. Mukanga you must do that …

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mabenga: …You are not going to stay here forever and therefore, you must find time to go home and see how you will look after your cattle, if you have any …


Mr Mabenga: … but I have cattle and I will continue looking after them.

Mr Speaker, I was actually emphasizing the fact that this is a well meaning speech and one that is bringing out good aspirations for the economic development of this country and it requires to be supported by all of us so that we move together as a country because the economy of this country does not look at political or religious affiliation but at the Zambians and this means all of us here and the rest of the people in the country.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya (Moomba): Mr Speaker, thank you for allowing me to contribute to the debate on the motion. I have three issues, namely: agriculture; energy; and construction. On agriculture, let me re-enforce the views expressed by the hon. Member for Dundumwezi …

Hon. UPND Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: … that there was a ban on the distribution of fertilizer in Southern Province, and in particular Monze District. Mr Speaker, I would like this ban to be lifted in certain areas like in Moomba Constituency. I say so because in my constituency people are found in high and low areas. The high areas have not been affected much by the floods and I was there last weekend and found that quite a good number of farmers have good maize. I am, therefore, requesting the Government to lift the ban of fertilizer being taken to these areas. The Government should send fertilizer to the high areas so that people can use it. In addition, I would like Government to give free fertilizer because this is a special year. The 40 per cent subsidy should not be implemented but instead fertilizer should be given freely to people that have good maize so far.

Let me now turn to the energy sector. I am happy that the Engineering Institute of Zambia (EIZ) had a press briefing yesterday and in today’s newspapers, we read that it is going to carryout investigations to find out what caused the blackouts. It also wants to find out the causes for the wash away of bridges and culverts. I was not free when the Energy Regulation Board (ERB) appointed its own team to carryout investigations. However, with EIZ, I am very confident that the truth will come out. We do not want to hear that there were two lizards that caused the blackouts.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!
Mr Mooya: We had that when the Southern Africa Development Community Heads of State were here last year. When there was a blackout, we were told that it was caused by one lizard and so, this time we do not want to hear that there were two lizards …

Mr Kambwili: Or snakes!

Mr Mooya: … or snakes or elephants that caused the blackout. We want the truth to come out. On the same issue, let me commend EIZ for coming out and threatening that if it finds that these blackouts or the wash away of bridges and culverts were as a result of poor workmanship, it will deregister any practicing engineer. They should go beyond that, they should deregister and then prosecute irresponsible engineers.

Mr Sichilima: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Let me now come to construction. There is a picture on the cover of the Budget Address which Hon. Hamududu mentioned yesterday. I want to present facts and what he said yesterday had facts. Let me, therefore, give facts. There are actually three pictures in one. One is about the so-called investment, the second is about the danger of abnormal loading. We all know that there is a law which we passed last year with regard to the limit of dimensions. If you look at the first picture on the Budget Address, the vehicle has an abnormal load and those dimensions are not allowed at all. The third picture is about the damage caused by overloading of the abnormal vehicles that are allowed on our roads.

Let me now clarify this statement because there was a point of order raised by the hon. Deputy Minister of Finance and National Planning. Let me give an example of the cold-box which we are all aware that last year it caused a lot of visible damage. Some of us saw invisible damage. This cold-box was weighing 140 tonnes and we know that the limit on our roads is 50 tonnes. Anything above that is not allowed. Mr Speaker, 140 tonnes is three times heavier than the limit. I do not care if it had a million wheels to spread the load but this was not supposed to be allowed.

Mr Speaker, the trail of destruction from Kazungula to Chingola is about a thousand kilometres.  You may wish to know that the cost of repairing or constructing a road is K1 billion per kilometre. Now you multiply that K1 billion by 1000, you will come to K1,000 billion or K1 trillion, and that K1 trillion is roughly US$250 million. Mr Speaker,  if there was 100 per cent invisible damage to the road, we will spend K1 trillion or US$ 250 million to repair the road.

Assuming that only 1 per cent invisible damage was caused and worked out at K2.5 million and assuming 10 per cent damage was caused, it would cost US$25 million, or if 25 per cent damage was caused, the compensation should have been US$60 million. However, for the invisible damage that was caused to our road, I, for one, would put it at 25 per cent and not the 1 per cent that was paid. This US$60 million should have been paid to the Government, but what was paid was just a mere US$35,000 according to the Post News Paper of 30th September, 2007. Those are facts.

The hon. Member for Bweengwa was right and I have laid those facts on the Table.

Mr Hamududu: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Under construction let me speak on the issue of funding, I note that K1.1 trillion has been allocated for roads instead of K1.5 trillion which we were informed at a workshop last year organized by ROADSIP. We were told that ROADSIP 11 requires K7 trillion at K1.5 trillion per year for five years. Therefore, I am requesting the Government to improve on this figure because there is a shortfall of K400 billion.

The third point under construction sector is the regulatory bodies. Here Government needs partnership with these regulatory bodies in order to arrest the ills in the construction sector, especially when it comes to enforcement of rules and regulations. We know these bodies, the Engineering Institution of Zambia, National Council for Construction, the Ministry of Works and Supply itself as well as the Road Development Agency. Here, I am suggesting that they should sit together and be able to enlighten each other on the problems that they are facing. Most likely, they have financial constraints. We must help them so that they can policy the construction industry thereby avoiding shoddy work because shoddy work lets money invested be washed down the drain.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Mooya: Mr Speaker, after forty-three years of independence, it is prudent for us to recognise these technical people by putting them in the right positions. Decision-making on policy issues must be handled by these people because they are conversant with technical issues and problems. Here I am again requesting Government to start placing technically qualified people with relevant experience at the highest level. When the Chinese President came here, I was briefed that among his inner circle, he has seven engineers and I am wondering why that cannot be applied here. You can appoint them there are many vacancies and through them, you can have qualified engineers with experience to advise Government.

It is high time we recognised these people and put them – I am not talking about engineers only, but architects and quantity surveyors as well. All these people must be put at policy making level. Once we do that, we will overcome a lot of problems.

Mr Speaker, I thank you.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile (Malole): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on the motion on the Floor. The Budget Address by the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has been acclaimed by not only Members of Parliament but also by members of our society.

Mr Speaker, the biggest challenge that the MMD Government faces today is the fight against poverty. Despite the micro-economic gains recorded so far, most Zambian people, especially in rural areas continue to wallow in abject poverty.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: It is not unusual to find people in rural areas who are managing to subsist only on one meal a day. Not until this economic growth is translated into tangible social economic benefits for Zambians, it will remain but an illusion.

Mr Speaker, I would therefore, not be wrong to state that even some hon. Members of Parliament in this august House are affected by poverty. What do I mean Sir? Poverty is a phenomenon of many facets. It depends on which side you are on. Others are barely surviving while others are unable to meet some luxurious things and I believe that most of us here are on the side of relative poverty.

Mr Speaker, poverty in rural areas has led to the rural urban migration which has brought about increased demand for goods and services such as the demand for employment, water and sanitation, health and educational facilities and shelter which has brought about unplanned settlements, a problem this Government is grappling with. Unless Government puts in place the right priorities in the fight against poverty, and be resolved to reducing poverty, whatever they say will just be rhetoric.

Mr Speaker, allow me to say something about interest rates in this country. The cost of borrowing in this country is extremely high. When inflation was high, banks used it as an excuse for increasing interest rates. The Government has worked so hard to reduce the inflation to a single digit.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Added to that, the percentage on the statutory reserve ratio has also been reduced from 14 per cent to 8 per cent which is a 6 per cent reduction in order to allow banks to be more liquid. Surprisingly, the banks are still saying, this is insignificant.

Mr Muntanga: You are right.

Mr Munaile: The question I want to pause to Government is that despite the efforts, why is it allowing banks to go scot-free?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: You have made tremendous improvement in the economy but you have allowed the banks to charge rates which are beyond the reach of most Zambians yet you talk about economic empowerment.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: The economic empowerment you are talking about which you want to handle as Government will not succeed unless the banks are involved.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: Quality!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, we only have thirteen banks in this country. I do not see why Government cannot tell those banks to which it is giving a lot of business that in order for Government to bank with them, they have to lend out the money at 15 per cent interest rate or less than that percentage. You can do that. The moment you do that and one or two banks bring down their interest rates, the rest will follow because they will need to survive by remaining in business. However, for as long you leave the market the way it is, this country will forever have problems when it comes to investments.

Mr Sing’ombe: Quality!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, for the country to have economic growth that is sustainable, the Zambian people must be able to save. The consumption of goods and services must go up. Today we are told that there is only 20 per cent of our people who are able to save. What about the rest? I want to implore you hon. Deputy Minister who is representing the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that you should bring banks into the economy by bring more people to come and invest in banking. Only when we have more banks are we going to have interest rates coming down.

Some years back there was a bank that decided that Zambia was not viable for business and most banks were closed. Today, they are coming back. Why are they coming back if what this Government is doing is insignificant?

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: However, the onus is on you the MMD Government and we will make you accountable for everything.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sing’ombe: When we come into power, you will explain.

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, allow me to say something about agriculture.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, in the 2002/2003 farming season, the MMD Government decided to introduce what was called the Fertiliser Support Programme. The reason was to allow peasant farmers access cheap fertiliser thereby increasing food production. Sadly, the Fertiliser Support Programme has been a total failure and must be discontinued forthwith.

Hon. Opposition Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, we need to be able to subsidise fertiliser across board by 20 per cent to 35 per cent and let it be everywhere and anywhere in this country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: The Fertiliser Support Programme has only enriched but a few Zambians who have taken advantage of the programme to re-sell the same fertiliser at exorbitant prices.

Mr Sing’ombe: Bebe mudala!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, the reason for this is very simple. There is no coordination between the office of the District Agriculture and Cooperatives Officers (DACOs) and the Food Reserve Agency (FRA). This programme was designed that after two years, the peasant farmers must graduate but who monitors what they do?

Hon. Member: Nobody!

Mr Munaile: The DACOs’ job ends when the fertiliser is given out. When it comes to the purchase of the maize that is so produced, they have no role to play. The FRA comes in. Therefore, a peasant farmer can buy this fertiliser and go out on the market and re-sell it. Who is going to check on him? No one.

Hon. Member: Quality!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, given such a scenario, our people today - my treasurer in the Independent Party …


Mr Munaile: …has tried to speak on how his people paid money in Dundumwezi Constituency but were unable …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The debater is debating well except that the people out there who are listening may get confused on this “Independent Party” …


The Deputy Chairperson: … I think he means a grouping of the three Independent Members in the House. You may continue.


Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, indeed as Independent hon. Members we have portfolios as well amongst the three of us.


Mr Munaile: However, for this country to move forward, the President of MMD and of the country, Dr Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, SC. has stated on the Floor of this House that he has put priority in agriculture. Unfortunately, this country is only emphasising on the production of maize. There are very few peasant farmers out there who are growing any other products apart from maize and the reason is simple.

Last year, the Food Reserve Agency said they would buy 60 metric tonnes of rice in Malole Constituency out of the 100 metric tonnes. I am sorry to say that out of the 60 metric tonnes which they said they would buy, they bought nothing.

Mr Sing’ombe: Shame!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, how then are these farmers going to be encouraged to grow any other crop apart from maize since it is only maize which is bought by the FRA. Despite Government encouraging diversification in farming, the FRA is not buying the product. I do not know whether they have been able to buy cassava from Luapula because they were supposed to.

Mr Speaker, unless the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives does more, we are headed for nowhere.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, allow me to say something on …

Mr Mwapela: Sport.

Mr Munaile: …tender procedures which this Government has bemoaned. I am convinced that the National Tender Board is a creature of Government and if there are any shortcomings Government should come in and iron them out.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Unlike the current situation where we have a K900 billion going back to the treasury. In the 2006 Budget, K700 billion went back to the treasury. There must be something wrong. If the officers responsible are not working, why do you not flush them out? If it is bureaucracy why can you not change it?

Mr Speaker, allow me finally to speak about the Northern Province.

Mr Sikazwe: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Hon. Mbewe from Chadiza in the Eastern Province yesterday said and I quote:

“The people of the Eastern Province voted wisely and they want to see the benefits.”

In 2001, the people of Luapula Province and Northern Province voted wisely and ushered in the so-called MMD New Deal Government. Deliberately, I have excluded the Copperbelt Province. What is it that they received from that change?

Hon. Opposition Members: Nothing!

Mr Lubinda: Nibamalukula chabe aba.

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, Northern Province is a province that has the potential for development. It has one of the best falls and soils in this country and yet when you go there – I will not talk about the roads because my elder brother from Mporokoso (Mr Misapa) laboured on this issue on the Floor of this House …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: … trying to preach to the Government to ensure that the Kasama/Kaputa via Mporokoso Road is done.

Mr Speaker, with regard to tourism, what kind of tourism can be done in a place where there are no roads? Who can invest in the rural parts of our country where the road infrastructure is bad? Today, we are talking about the floods in Kanyama Compound. The moment you talk about Kanyama Compound, everyone wakes up because it is in Lusaka. However, who cares when there are floods in Malole Constituency?


Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, the road from Kasama to Mpulungu which leads to the only port that we have in this country was done in 1976 or 1978. To day, a stretch of about 200 kilometres will take you not less than five hours.

Mr Milupi: Shame!

Mr Munaile: How are we going to work? We have been told that the bridge that is being constructed at Chembe we are told is going to reduce the distance between the Copperbelt and the Republic of Tanzania. However, as far as I am concerned, it will be a white elephant as long as the Mansa/Kasama, Kasama/Isoka and Mbesuma Roads are not done. The bridge will be of no value.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear, bwekeshapo!

Mr Sing’ombe: Quality!

Mr Munaile: You need to ensure that the road is done if you want to realise the economic benefit that it would bring.

Mr Speaker, in conclusion, allow me to talk about the people that have continued to suffer because the companies they worked for have been liquidated. The hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has set aside money for those who are retiring but nothing for those who are being retrenched. In that regard, I would like to talk about the United Bus Company (UBZ).

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: It has been over ten year since UBZ went under. To date, they are still liquidating UBZ. It tells me that UBZ was a viable company and should have been kept afloat if people wished to do so.

Mr Lubinda: Banali kuvula ma company yabo nakuvala ayo.

Mr Munaile: How can you allow the liquidator to continue to get a salary and yet those who worked for the same company continue to wallow in poverty?

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, when you liquidate companies as a Government, I expect you to put a timeframe for the liquidators so that they complete their job within a specified time. However, for UBZ, it has been liquidation in perpetuity.

Hon. Opposition Members: Shame!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, as a country, we look up to the MMD Government for development. However, I want you to know that you maybe in privileged positions today but tomorrow, you may not be there.


Mr Munaile: Therefore, Sir, when tackling national issues, ensure that you tackle them as though it is the last time you were going to tackle them.

Mr Milupi: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, I shudder when I hear hon. Members on your right, especially those who are coming from rural constituencies, debate on the Floor of this House like all is well.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Then, I ask myself, ‘If all is well, then why are you here?’

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, I am convinced that the problems I am encountering in Malole Constituency are the same problems that are being encountered in Kalomo, Chadiza, Chavuma and everywhere else in the rural parts of our country.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Those of you who have been given the mandate to unlock the resources that you are telling us about, must do just that.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Let the resources be distributed equitably.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear, ebaume aba kabili!

Mr Munaile: This country’s way of development makes me wonder. When the budget is drawn, certain areas are considered better than others. When you go to one constituency, you will find that there has never been a school belt in the last uncountable years while in another constituency seven schools are being built.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: Then I ask myself, ‘Are these schools being built on community initiative or are they being constructed by the Government?’ …

Hon. Opposition Members: Ask Lungwangwa.

Mr Munaile: If it is Government doing it, as we were told by the Hon. Member for Rufunsa Constituency (Hon. Chipungu) yesterday, hon. Minister of Education, I would like to state that, please, distribute the resources equitably.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Munaile: However, if it is a community initiative, I would like to commend the people of Rufunsa for working hard.

Mr Kambwili: Sports mwaana!

Hon. Members: Yes!

Mr Munaile: Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me this opportunity.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe (Chimbamilonga): Mr Speaker, I thank you for according me the opportunity to contribute to the debate on the Budget Speech on the Floor of the House. I would like to thank the technocrats for getting involved in this theme because most of the time the hon. Minister and his Deputy are busy attending to Parliamentary duties and the technocrats are there thinking on their behalf. They would like the Government to unlock the resources for economic development. This is an opportune time for the Northern Province, in particular, because there are a lot of resources.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, technocrats have locked this door for years and years but I hope the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning has told them to unlock the resources so that we do not have any resistance to the decrees which are passed by the Secretary to Cabinet. At one time, he told them to unlock the doors so that people could know every project being carried out in their constituencies. To date, only the Ministry of Local Government has shown us this by sending the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) to our accounts.

Sir, I will emphasise that the technocrats have always locked the resources by not opening their offices to people or neither even visiting rural constituencies nor those found in Lusaka to see what is happening with the money they are releasing from their ministries.

The President gave a mandate last year in March to all ministries through the Permanent Secretaries down to the provincial administrators including hon. Members of Parliament to be availed with the information about what is obtaining in their constituencies in the line ministries, but that has never happened. But since now they have agreed to unlock the doors so that the resources can reach us and the people in our constituencies, I am very thankful again.

Hon. Government Members: hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: I would like to comment on point 103 of the Budget Speech, but before I do that, I would like to borrow a Swahili saying, not because I come from Nsumbu where we border with the Democratic Republic of Congo …

Mr Sing’ombe: You are Tanzanian.

Mr Sikazwe: I will talk about point 103 with this saying in Swahili, ‘Munza deni simujinga’…


Mr Sikazwe: Listen from me! Mupunza deni simujinga which means, ‘little is better than nothing, he who reduced the debts should be thanked.’ The Government has been blamed for many years that it has not been sensitive to the debts that have been accrued through food supplies, in particular. Now the Government has come to its senses and said, enough is enough, let us start off loading the debt. The Government owes people a lot of money including Hon. Kambwili because he has been doing business with Government. The Government is considering off loading part of the debts we are owing him.

Mr Speaker, I am very thankful for the stance the Government has taken. You will find that the local suppliers have had no money for sometime. Most of them have gone out of business and are going through difficult situations. I hope we are going to follow the system of paying those who supplied goods first. Now that the Government will be allocating the money, it means that these food suppliers will be paid and the suppliers will have to pay the employees who have been retrenched and not for the Government to pay as some people were suggesting. It is the employers who have to pay their retrenchees.

Mr Speaker, I commend the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for doing well. Let us commend where it is necessary. To be sincere and fair, the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is a practical ministry. We have not seen anything done by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry because they are only good in bringing banks and I would like them to bring banks to Chimbamilonga as well.


Mr Sikazwe: If they do not consider my plea, I will prove that they are not caring as a ministry. The Ministry of Home Affairs is there to investigate and arrest people who break the law.


Mr Sikazwe: Sir, I was commending the Ministry of Local Government and Housing for continuously considering the constituencies. This ministry has increased the amount to K400 million and this is the money which is used in the constituencies because there are so many projects going on there.

Mr Speaker, K60 billion for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) is welcome.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe:  I think this will cater for all the 150 Constituencies.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, I now move to Public Order and Safety. I would like to urge the Government to allocate enough money to the Prison Service. I plead that Kaputa District must be given a new prison. Mporokoso Prison is always congested because we have never had a prison in Kaputa for the past forty-two years.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Sikazwe: Sir, we cannot run away from crime even if we employ more police officers. Sin was brought on earth by Adam and Eve and we shall continue facing crime. Lieutenant-General Shikapwasha is very understanding and I am sure he is going to respond to this plea.

Mr Speaker, we always talk about infrastructure in Northern Province. In Northern Province, Nsumbu National Park is not the only place we have to be talking about everyday. We have other issues like the road infrastructure and the road leading to Nsumbu National Park is the one which needs to be considered. Kaputa/Kasama/Mporokoso Road is supposed to be constructed in that area. We only need about K400 billion out of K1.6 trillion, which is expected from the windfall tax. This is how we are going to unlock the resources for Northern Province.

Sir, Kanyala Road in Isoka and Mpulungu Road are supposed to be constructed. We are also talking about Zambia Sugar Company in Mazabuka but items have to be transported from Mazabuka to Mpulungu but the road is not done up to today. I would therefore, like to urge the hon. Minister of Works and Supply that K60 billion will help to do the resurface of the Mpulungu/Kasama Road.

Sir, on economic affairs, I was looking at a certain article considering communication. Consequently, I saw an advertisement on television which was reminding the hon. Minister of Communications and Transport to tell the Communications Authority to start considering rural areas because of the new companies coming in the country. That policy will assist the development of the rural areas. If the policy is implemented, it will assist in the development of the rural areas.

Mr Kambwili: Iwe naulanda kale. Chalaba shani!


Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, they should start the installations and we will buy the talk time. We have been crying for communication in these areas not because we want to be so luxurious but in these areas, there are people who want to use these facilities and they are ready to pay for talk time and other facilities. These areas used to be rural in the 1970s but not now. Some people in the rural areas are doing much better than us in the urban areas who are sleeping on one meal per day, therefore, we should take development to them.

Mr Speaker, Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) is the art of tourism in Zambia. ZAWA will not be able to perform if they have insufficient police officers. I am speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources that there must be more resources allocated to ZAWA to enable the institution employ a lot of wildlife officers in order to curb the escalating poaching in game parks.

Sir, without ZAWA, there cannot be any tourism in this country. All the animals will be wiped out by the poachers. ZAWA needs to be funded adequately and if the hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources is not ready to speak, I will speak on his behalf so that ZAWA can be given priority in as far as allocations are concerned in this year’s Budget. We also have to recruit more officers this year. For the hon. Minister to survive, he should make sure that ZAWA is allocated enough money so that we protect our animals.

Mr Speaker, I now turn to the Rural Water Programme. We have been working on the programmes for boreholes everyday. In Kasama, they were given a system which was brought in by the European Union (EU) when they were extending the maternity annex at Nsumbu Rural Health Centre. Solar power submersible pumps covered almost 1,500 people and they are getting running water from the taps. At the moment, people have increased in numbers and the boreholes are becoming inadequate to supply their water requirements. Now we need solar powered submersible pumps because these will cater for a bigger number. That is the difference between the project we had before and the one we have now.

The hon. Minister also spoke about Public Private Partnership. Sometimes, the partners out there question on what type of partners they are looking for. As I am talking now, in the Energy Sector, there are quite a number of partners who can take on the Geothermal Project which I always talk about because ZESCO has failed us for the past ten years. From 22nd October, 1999 to date, they have not even rehabilitated the road leading to Kapisha Geothermal Plant. It is a plant because the machinery is already installed.

Sir, if we go out and ask the partners to come, they are willing and they are even able to fund the project all we need is the support from the Ministry of Energy and Water Development. Even the technical experts can be found to upgrade the voltage.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!{mospagebreak}

Mr Sikazwe: Mr Speaker, I urge the hon. Minister of Energy and Water Development to consider the partners who are serious to develop our rural areas. The Geothermal Plants will reduce the impact on these power blackouts we are experiencing today. I was listening to a news programme that South Africa is facing the same problem and they are comparing themselves with Kenya who are relaying on Geothermal Project at 47 per cent usage. They are also saying that this is applicable in all the areas and Zambia is one of them. Why can we not make a try for the first time in Zambia?

Mr Speaker, when we talk about rural areas, the question has always been how viable are they.  Today, the viability has come through the tourism sector. Who is going to ask us about the viability of the rural areas? You have been saying that there are no people there, but there are animals which are more viable than us today. How are we going to consider taking development to the rural areas? Let us consider the people of rural areas.

Mr Speaker, to rest my debate, I again want to talk about the caring Government. I was very thankful that Dundumwezi Constituency was being considered for a high school even though the hon. Member belongs to the opposition. Can you reflect on how caring this Government is? The people of Dundumwezi are in the opposition but the Government has given them the mandate, when the other people and I in Kaputa do not even have a high school even though we have been supporting the Government all the time. We always vote for them and not otherwise.


Mr Sikazwe: Therefore, our friends on your left must appreciate sometimes.

Dr Machungwa: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Dr Machungwa: Mr Speaker, I hate to disturb my brother who is debating with a lot of gusto. However, is the hon. Member, really, in order to imply that Government, which is supposed to superintend and look after the needs of all Zambians, is being kind by putting resources in some parts of the country which are held by the opposition, since they are supposed to do so anyway? Is he in order to say that?

The Deputy Chairperson: The ruling is simple, that if that is what the hon. Member means then he is not in order because it is the responsibility of Government to look after everyone in the country. Can you continue hon. Member?

Mr Sikazwe: Thank you Sir. I was saying that Government is responsible enough to even care for the opposition who are claiming that they are not considered many times.

Mr Speaker, I move to recreation and culture. I am sure that this is where I can get the hon. Minister of Sport, Youth and Child Development. I am suggesting to the hon. Minister that the distribution of sport equipment must be more or less distributed the way the Ministry of Local Government and Housing is doing it. They have to consider each constituency for the number of balls, skipping ropes and other sporting equipment that they will be given so that there is equal sharing of the equipment.

 It seems that the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development is not considering the constituencies because as at now, we do not know what is happening with the balls. We have been hearing that the balls are floating on the lake for the past one year but up to now, we have not received them. I propose to the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development that they formulate a system similar to what the Ministry of Local Government and Housing did with CDF, and say Chimbamilonga, thirty balls, or can I simply say every constituency should receive thirty balls because that way, there will be equal distribution of the sports equipment. This will be the best method.


Mr V. Mwale: Which Balls?

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Address the Chair and ignore the hecklers.

Mr Sikazwe: Sir, when we talk about sports equipment, I mean basketballs, volleyballs, soccer balls, etc. What I am saying is that even the rural areas are teaching people how to play basketball. Rural areas have schools. There is even women soccer.

Mr Speaker, as long as there is a Ministry of Education in rural areas, the Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development will be sought. To that effect, the Ministry can channel the distribution of sports equipment through the Ministry of Education if they do not trust the Members of Parliament. They can distribute the equipment through the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Local Government and Housing has trusted the hon. Members of Parliament to take the money down to their constituencies. The Ministry of Sport, Youth and Child Development must be pro-active and take on this distribution of sports equipment equitably. If that did not happen last year, I am sure this year, the Ministry will be cautious and anxious to distribute the sports equipment equally, in all the 150 constituencies.

I thank you, Sir.

Mr Chota (Lubansenshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate on this important motion. I will be brief in my contribution.

Sir, I would like to go back and add on what Hon. Hachipuka talked about concerning the windfall tax in the mining industry, and what you are calling the review of corporate tax on profits. I do not know if Government has put in place measures to ensure that they collect the tax as necessary.

Mr Speaker, sometimes I wonder. There has been a lot of seminars where these people go to talk about restructuring but I have not seen any. You know, when you are restructured, everybody knows what is happening, however, at the moment, I do not see what role the hon. Ministers and Deputy Ministers are playing in this. When you are structured, you know what you are doing and what you are supposed to do. Even in a football team or rugby team, when you do not know what you are doing, you will head the ball towards an opponent and he will score.

Mr Speaker, my emphasis is tax on profits. Like Hon. Hachipuka said, it could easily be manipulated. In Zambia, the obvious alternative to aid from donors is copper revenues in the form of royalties and corporate taxes. Sir, the 3 per cent mineral royalties is still at a lower end of international averages.

No African country charges royalty rates below 3 per cent because some charge as high as 20 per cent. The massive increase in copper prices and huge debt relief package has reduced the need for Zambia to borrow further, to cover interest payments. The possibility has arisen to make a fresh start. We can, again, use revenue from copper to drive major investments in the country’s economy and people and break Zambia’s aid dependency.

Mr Speaker, other countries are depending on their natural resources. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and all these other countries, people do not even pay tax. They depend on their natural resources.

Mr Speaker, let me give an example. When I say that we should follow every ton of metal sold at the London Metal Exchange to maximise the royalty collected, I am telling the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that at the London Metal Exchange, a producer can hedge his production in future markets to guarantee a price level. The producer can take out a put option which will give him the right to sell in the future’s markets, but not the obligation.

If the market price of his material has dropped, and he wishes to dispose off his material, he can declare his option which is then replaced by a short future contract at the striking price of the original option contract, thereby keeping in full hedged and not suffer price falls and rises. This system is known as backwardation.

Mr Speaker, do we have people in the system to check that we collect revenue from each tonne of copper that is sold at the London Metal Exchange. The hon. Minister should look into this so that cheating by mining industries is minimized.

Mr Speaker, Mineral loyalties is a tax on the revenue from sales. It is compensation for removing an asset from the ground which belongs ultimately to every Zambian citizen. Mr Speaker, the huge amounts of money we are going to collect from the mining industry is going to be used to construct roads.

In his speech, His Excellency the President talked about it and he also mentioned Luwingu/Kasama Road which has taken more than seven years. Whatever amount has been allocated to this road has been looted and there has been no follow up. Sir, I know that the hon. Minister of Works and Supply is one manager who does his job and he has been working quite hard. I therefore, feel sorry for him because along the way, he is being jammed by non-performers - the syndicate which controls the system.
Mr Speaker, if we distribute the money from copper taxes, roads in the rural areas will be opened up. The agricultural inputs will reach all areas easily and it will be collected without difficulties and this is what we need.

Sir, at the moment in my constituency, I do not know what investment is going on. I only know one, which I will talk about, but I do not know what has been going on. I also do not know what has been happening in the past ten years. I think there has been completely nothing happening. I talked about the roads in Luwingu Boma, which were left by Sir Roy Welensky, these are the roads which are still there. Sometimes I feel like using the Constituency Development Fund to mend the roads in Luwingu.

 Mr Speaker, at the moment in my constituency, people are living on mangoes. Last season, we reported the hunger situation but nothing was done. There is maize and cassava at the Luwingu FRA storage sheds which are rotting.


 The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Could you consult quietly, please.

May the hon. Member continue.

 Mr Chota: It was suggested that the maize and cassava be given to the people, but nothing has been done.

 Mr Speaker, I talked about restructuring and I do not know where I can run to because I have tried to report to people I thought were in authority in my constituency, but I have been turned into a yoyo…


 Mr Chota:…because wherever I go they refer me to another department and I do not know who the authority is.

 Mr Speaker, you can delegate your authority, but you cannot delegate your responsibility. I would like our Ministers to know this. I also do not know who is powerful in rank among the minister, permanent secretary or the senior provincial agricultural coordinator or what because these people are coming up with their figures.

 Last year, the hon. Minister announced that three big dams would be constructed in this country. We all applied and I was luck that I got one. The money for this project was released in June last year. It is easy because you can confuse people by delaying projects thinking that maybe, people will not remember.

The President said that each hon. Member of Parliament is supposed to know how much money is going into his or her constituency so that they can be able to follow up projects that are being undertaken. This has been the case and up to now, I do not know what is going on. Maybe, it is just that we have not got anything going on in my constituency and that is why I have not been told. As for the dam, I have been following it up because I was told that it was going to be built and I know that money was released in June. Up to date, my chief,  the senior agricultural officer and everybody else, we do not know what is going on.

Sir, when we went for a provincial development committee meeting, I saw figures amounting to K36 million which has been used. I wondered how this money was used and who used it when nobody in the district knows how the money was used because in the first place, we do not even know where the dam will be built. When I asked where the money went, they said there was a report but it was not signed. In this unsigned report, it was written that money was used to pay people who were there for more than ten to twelve days and that some money was used to pay casual labourers who were employed.


Hon. Opposition Members: Hammer! 

Mr Chota: The fact is that whatever they are supposed to be, they are ghost labourers.  You people are laughing thinking that this is a laughing matter, but I do not think so because I could see money being looted. I therefore, want to know where this money is going because if you fail to answer that I am going to see the President. I can assure that.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Chota: You know, you can not just throw away K863 million on a small dam. For this amount, the dam was supposed to be huge and hon. Members are laughing, it is not good because this is how money is looted. Mr Speaker, I would like to assure people in my constituency that this will be followed up. I have followed up some cases where contractors were given money to build a clinic but they did not even pay their workers. I went to court using my own money and I threatened them by saying that the President was blacklisting some contractors and they released some money. I would like to know from the hon. Minister, who is responsible for this? Who is the authority?


Mr Chota: Hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning, please, let us follow up the collection of tax on mineral loyalties and see to it that this money is spent on specific areas especially in Northern Province where you have already started working on the Kasama/Luwingu Road which was initially put at K2 billion, but because of delays, it is now in the range of K100 billion to complete the same road.

 I thank you, Mr Speaker.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Muntanga (Kalomo): Mr Speaker, I would like to thank you for giving me this opportunity to contribute to the debate.

Mr Speaker, I realise that this Government feels comfortable to be praised. If you do not praise them, they get very annoyed.


 Mr Muntanga: Therefore, I will try very hard to remember to praise them.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, in the first instance, my comments on the budget is that certain things are not included. Mr Speaker, I want to remind the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning that this budget he has allowed and indicated that there will be money coming from the mines is good and so, we expect this money to be included on the budget because it is not there now.

 Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

 Mr Muntanga: However, you have done very well…

 Hon. Members: Hear, hear

Mr Muntanga: … although the money is not there in the budget. This is very good.

Mr Speaker, I am worried that this budget has reduced. The Minister of Finance and National Planning said there was a reduction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in agriculture from 3 per cent to 2 per cent last year, when we had attained 8 per cent of the total budget to agriculture.

Mr Speaker, this Government is known to have agreed in SADC that they will raise the budget for agriculture to 10 per cent. This year they have reduced from 8 per cent to 5 per cent, very good. They are doing very well.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do not want to complain because they must be told that they are doing very well.

Hon. UPND Member: Praise them mudala.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, in this budget, we have noticed that certain items that are important have been left out or reduced. These are facts that are in this Book and I do not have to complain, except to say that because you have left out certain things, even this cash transfer, the money that people have been crying which is in the tune of K132 billion, but which cannot be provided, I say, you are doing very well.


Mr Muntanga: Thank you very much.

Mr Matongo: To a working Government.

Mr Muntanga: This is a working Government.


Mr Muntanga: We know that the budget …

Mr Chairperson: Order! I have listened and my worry is that it is not only us here who are listening to the debates, but the people outside there are also listening. If you are talking the way you are doing for lack of better word, in tongues, it shows as if you are praising the Government, and yet, you are merely advising them to do something. I appeal to you to state what you want the Government to do and also state where you think they are doing wrong or right.

Can the hon. Member continue, please.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I will go back to my origin way of debate to remind them that the praise does not help. That is why we want to tell you that we are concerned with these things. If you want to make agriculture a priority and you do not meet the 10 per cent budget which you have agreed with SADC, then we should tell you that as Government you are not measuring up to what you agreed. This is what we are talking about. We have a lot of things that are not done but since you want to be praised, that is why we end up saying well-done and thank you very much.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we had K7 billion in the budget last year to do Kalomo/Kabanga Road, but the money was not released and the road is impassable.

Mr Muyanda: Well done!

Mr Muntanga: Yes, well done. If we say this road is bad, you say southerners are not grateful. Mr Speaker, yesterday we were reminded that helicopters are flying in Southern Province. I would like to say well done, you have done your job because we must put some goods at one place to help our people who are sinking in water. Mind you, we are not very good at swimming like westerners.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, unfortunately, the helicopter was empty but we appreciate that Government responded by provide it so that it can help us carry what we have gathered. You have done very well.


Mr Muntanga: We appreciate there was a helicopter but only wished it had brought food. We do realise our situation from a drought into a flood, there is too much change for us. However, Southern Province is not the only province that has problems. I have travelled and I know the road from Chipata to Chadiza is terrible, except that my brother there is praising the Government. It is good.

Mr Hamududu: Well-done.

Mr Muntanga: Well-done. The road is not good from Petauke to Chipata. I was one of those who had an accident on that road, it is very bad and we almost died. If the people are happy and want to praise Government, it is very good, well done.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, our stand is that we want to tell you that if pigs are dying and you are not able to cure the disease, we should be able to say, this is bad. If someone is going to praise Government, it is unfortunate. Mind you, Mr Speaker, in a home if you are feeding your children well, they will not praise you and dance around you saying, father you are feeding us well, but immediately there is no food, the children will start complaining. Mr Speaker, I would like to say that the New Deal MMD Government has done better than the New Culture MMD Government in agriculture.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, this Government which is doing well never thanked the farmers for producing enough maize which they donated to neighbouring countries.

Mr Matongo: They never forgot to thank us.

Mr Muntanga: They never forgot to thank us. After having done very well, the Government has decided to reduce the fertiliser support programme and even general support to agriculture. If we were able to reduce GDP from 3 per cent to 2 per cent, when we had 8 per cent, what will happen when we have 5 per cent now? It means, therefore, without even having calculations, we shall even reduce GDP in agriculture further down. However the Government would have done very well and we thank them.


Mr Muntanga: We have been told and reminded that there is a budget for the Bottom Road. The World Bank gave this road US$5 million for construction, but that money was given to ZESCO. After seeing the Bottom Road, the Minister of Works and Supply said he had never seen a situation like that one and yet, someone is saying the people of Southern Province are not grateful. We are very grateful …

Mr Matongo: For nothing.

Mr Muntanga: … for having no road.


Mr Muntanga: If this will suit him. We do not want to compare our situation with any other provinces at all. In Tonga we say ‘Choolwe Chamwenzinyoko Tachoonenwa Anze’ meaning, you should not follow your friend’s fortunes. If your friend slept outside you should not sleep outside too because if you do so, you will be eaten by a Hyena. The fortunes of your friends are not yours.

Mr Speaker, we have been crying here that the road from Kasama to Mansa should be done. This is because I went there and worked there and drove on that road for 5 years. I know what it means when you talk about the road from Kasama to Kaputa.

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: I know what it means when you talk about the road from Luwingu to Kawambwa through the hills. Now, if I tell this Government that it has not done its job and you think, I am not grateful, what else can I do? The New Deal Government is very good at remembering but do not be disappointed when we remind you that certain things are not done correctly. We want these people to remember that the road from Shang’ombo to Sesheke is impassable, but  the hon. Minister is very happy, well done.

Mr Matongo: Thank them.

Mr Muntanga: We thank Government for not building that road. If we tell you that the road is impassable, you say we are not grateful. Why should we be grateful when the hospital in Shang’ombo is not complete …

Hon. UPND Members: Well done.

Mr Muntanga: What do you want us to say? Kalomo was once a capital of North Western Rhodesia, and I appreciate that Government has started building a hospital there. I acknowledge, and I say, well done.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I have fifteen rural health centres built by people.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Hon. Members: Well done!


Business was suspended from 1815 hours until 1830 hours.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, when business was suspended, I was proceeding to explain …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. I have been very quiet in the past few days but on this matter I am very passionate and I seek the indulgence of the nation. I also want to tender my apologies because I did not wish to disrupt the debate of my uncle, a friend to my father, who is contributing to the debate so well …


Mr Sichilima: Sir, is Hon. Muntanga in order to continue debating when a few days ago he raised a point of order on the same matter I am raising. Being a very good supporter of the Zambia National Football Team, is he in order to continue debating and praising the Government when this time he is supposed to be cheering the national football team. I need your very serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Order! The work of Parliament takes precedence over any other matters like sports which take second stage. Therefore, he is in order.

You may continue, please.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I acknowledge the behaviour of my nephew being a football fan. When business was suspended, I was about to say that every year money is budgeted for the Namwala/Choma Road. Last year, there was even money budgeted for the Chitongwe/Monze Road but unfortunately, the roads were not done. However, we are very grateful to the Government and I say, Well done.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, we want to show this Government appreciation because the hon. Member for Chadiza acknowledged that Southern Province received livestock restocking. Yes, it is true that K2 billion was released, but this money was misdirected by the Southern Province Permanent Secretary and his group. About K1.7 billion was not used on restocking but misused and the people of Southern Province did not get the cattle. Therefore, I want say well done to the Government.


 Mr Muntanga: We are, indeed, very grateful although there was no livestock bought.

Mr Speaker, when I look at this Budget, I appreciate and acknowledge that the Government has increased the budget allocation for education. Every year we are told that the children who passed in Grade 9 are in excess of 300,000 and those going to high schools are only 14,000 and the rest are thrown in the streets. The money for tertiary education is not even indicated. With regard to this problem, the Government is doing very well. Well done …

Hon. Opposition Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Muntanga: … because if I do not praise them, they get angry.


Mr Kaingu: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Kaingu: Mr Speaker, is the hon. Member for Kalomo in order to continue debating the way he is doing even after your guidance? I need your serious ruling.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the Chair did advise. It was not a ruling as such but I did advise the hon. Member for Kalomo to say what I thought was right. However, it appears that he thought the Chair’s advice maybe was not acceptable so the Chair will allow him to continue.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I do realise that you ruled that Government and Parliament business takes precedence over other matters. The hon. Minister of Tourism, Environment and Natural Resources should realise that it is important to make follow-ups on previous budget allocations. In this Budget, tourism has a reduction from 1.5 per cent of last year’s Budget to 1.1 per cent this year. Well done for this reduction.


Mr Muntanga: The hon. Minister must be very happy that he has less money this year and will do very well. Well done.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I realise that we have various problem in this Government. All we want to do is to make sure that we realise that the people that cry for help mean well. Therefore, the road from Kalomo to Chikanta should be done. Although the money was budgeted, I am still crying, although it is not allowed to cry in here.

Mr D Mwila: Just cry.

Mr Muntanga: I wanted to weep to help the hon. Member for Chadiza because the problems that he is cry for are what I am also crying for. However, as far as he is concerned, the Government is doing very well for Chadiza. I know that it is impossible to join the road to Mozambique from Chadiza or Katete. However, the hon. Member of Parliament is happy and feels that the Government has done very well. We want to remind this Government that as they do very well, they should remember to attend to various problems. In Southern Province we call a spade a spade.

While others, like the hon. Deputy Minister for North-Western Province who has been favoured, are getting schools freely, they must remember that we are not getting the same kind of favours. Therefore, I want to say well done to the Government for subjecting us to suffering while others are enjoying. In any case, the more you take agriculture down and do not budget for it – our farmers sold their crops in July last year. It is now February and they have not been paid. When we talk, you say we are complaining. The Government has done very well and should keep it up and do not pay the farmers.


Mr Muntanga: How else am I supposed to talk because this is the only way that the farmers will listen to me and will not vote for the Government? If we go to Kanyama, the major problem is the floods and this is not the first time.

Hon. Government Members: Talk about the Budget!

Mr Muntanga: Budget is money but what I am talking about is the clogging of the drainage system. Now money has been found and the Government has released K16 billion for draining the water. They are doing very well. 


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the Government returned K900 billion to the Treasury and yet there are projects that need to be done such as the road from Zimba to Livingstone which is bad. Like what my brother said yesterday that there were people in the Bible who kept the money for their master to see but here we are the masters and we are saying well done for returning the money.

Mr Speaker, I am passionately appealing and if it was possible I would have cried to praise this Government …

Mr Mabenga: Cry!

Mr Muntanga: … I know the road from Ng’ambi going to Njisi or Luampa has been worked on but the road coming from the tarmac to Mulobezi and the Mulobezi rail line is flooded. Well done. The hon. Member of Parliament for Mulobezi is very happy that his people …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order! Let us give the person debating the opportunity to debate. There are so many people debating, others are debating while seated. Let us give him chance to debate. Continue hon. Member.

Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, the road going to Mulobezi and the rail line is in water and the hon. Member for Mulobezi is very happy, which is very funny.


Mr Mabenga: On a point of order, Sir!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Mabenga: Mr Speaker is it in order for the hon. Member of Parliament to continuously attack …

The Deputy Chairperson: Order!

Mr Mabenga: … this Government indirectly when he is supposed to be saying the good things that are happening in Kalomo Constituency.


The Deputy Chairperson: I am sure an opportunity will arise for anyone of the hon. Members on my right to rebut what he is saying. Meanwhile, can you continue.

Mr Muntanga: I acknowledge that in Kalomo my farmers have not been paid for their last year’s crop and the Government is saying that it is doing very well by not paying the farmers in Kalomo. Each farmer in Kalomo paid a down payment of over K500,000 but that money is locked up and the theme is ‘Unlocking Resources for Economic Empowerment and Wealth Creation’.

Mr Speaker, we want this hon. Minister who benefits in unlocking to go and unlock this money so that farmers can get it back, otherwise, you are doing very well.


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I want to urge all hon. Members of Parliament to check for the developments their constituencies and take into account that as your Government does very well, they do not forget those little things we are worrying about. In doing so, we shall continue praising you and reminding you that people are dying and suffering in abject poverty as you are doing very well. That way, we hope you can remember that the people who are suffering are those that live along the road from Chipata to Lundazi which is impassable despite budgets being prepared every year. For the entire province, there is only one person who is happy, the hon. Member for Chadiza (Mr A. Mbewe).


Mr Muntanga: Mr Speaker, I have seen that the hon. Member of Parliament for Petauke is not happy.

Mr Speaker, I thank you very much.

Hon. Members: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya (Mpika): Mr Speaker, we have been informed in this year’s Budget about the intention of achievements. This achievement is related to the Growth Domestic Product (GDP) of, at least, 7 per cent by the end of 2008. The same percentage of 7 per cent was the target for GDP growth estimated for last year, but estimated real growth of 6.2 per cent was almost 1 per cent below.

In view of the adverse development in the world economy, the growth may not be attained at 7 per cent as targeted by the Government. However, growth of 6.2 per cent was not broad based. I will give an example in two areas.

Firstly, Agriculture recorded poor growth of 2.8 per cent compared to 3 per cent in 2006; and

Secondly, manufacturing growth declined from 5.7 per cent to in 2006 to 3.4 per cent in 2007. The out put in energy sector was stagnant and the only successful growth in the economy was in the following areas:

(i) the construction sector recorded 13 per cent; and
(ii) tourism and transport sectors recorded 22.5 per cent.

Therefore, performance of the major sectors of the economy will be predicted on the following areas:

(a) maintenance of macro-economic stability;
(b) structural reform of the financial sector, the private sector reform programme and continued strengthening of investor confidence;
(c) repair and rehabilitation of infrastructure; and
(d) efficiency of the Public Service.

The broad based economic growth especially in agriculture will be vital to the most talked about poverty reduction.

Mr Speaker, let me now turn to reduction of the rate of inflation to 7 per cent at the end of 2008. In 2007, inflation target was achieved. This was largely due to reduced spending from the inability of the Public Service to implement projects and the slow down in the growth of money supply from 45 per cent in 2006 to 26 per cent in 2007. However, due to the current fundamentals in the economy which point is a strong possibility that the target of 7 per cent is unlikely to be met. This is due to the high oil prices on the international market that indicate that inflation may rise. Inflation will also rise due to shortages of staple grains on account of this season’s floods in most parts of the country. The shortages will have to be covered by imports.

Mr Speaker, limitation of the Government’s domestic borrowing requirements of K619 billion, which is equivalent to 1.2 per cent of the projected GDP of K51,559 billion, is part of the Government’s financing strategy. It is important to have a quick glance at the balance between the revenues and expenditures in this year’s Budget. This will put the financing strategy in proper perspective.

The revenue expenditure balance can be summarised as follows: Total tax and non-tax revenues K9,828 billion, total expenditure K13,761.4 billion, balance that is the deficit is in minus of K3,932.9 billion. Financing again, K3,932.9 billion. Foreign grants, we are told, will be in the range of K2,278.9 billion. This is the money that will come outside Zambia. Then foreign loans will also stand at K1,035.3 billon. Domestic borrowing only stands at K618.7 borrowing.

Hon. Members: Borrowing?


Mr Kapeya: Domestic borrowing.  This shows that the Budget deficit of K1,654.0 billion or 3.2 per cent of GDP as stated in the budget speech is incorrect. The correct amount is K3,932.9 billion or 7.6 per cent of the GDP implying an enormous gap between resources and expenditure. This clearly shows that Zambia continues to live beyond its means …

Mr Chilembo: Banabalembela aba.


Mr Kapeya: … relying on the generosity of foreign donors. In the earlier years, it has been demonstrated that foreign financing is dependent inter alia on control of expenditure and efficiency of Budget implementation. This generosity will not last forever. Foreign financing for the Budget will remain high at 24 per cent of the total Government outlays.

Mr Speaker, external borrowing should be closely monitored. Zambia’s external debt was dramatically reduced by more than 90 per cent from US$7.2 billion at the end of 2004 to US$0.5 billion in mid 2006. However, the external debt stock rose again to US$1.859 billion by the end of that year. At the end of 2007 external debt had increased to US$2,035.2 billion.

Mr Imasiku: Osabelenga.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, last year, Parliament was informed that Government would re-negotiate the mining development agreement in order to increase Zambia’s benefits from taxes and other measures from the mining sector.

The Government does not indicate that any re-negotiation had been conducted. Instead, in the 2008 Budget, Parliament is informed that a committee of experts was appointed to study this matter and reported inter alia that development agreements in their current form are heavily weighted in favour of the foreign mining companies. Mr Speaker, this is strange …

Hon. Member: Harmer, harmer!

Mr Kapeya: …because the issue of lopsidedness of the agreements was the consensus of all citizens and it did not need a special committee to examine and recommend this fact.

Hon. Member: Hear, hear!

Mr Kapeya: This not withstanding, the Budget has proposed a new tax regime increasing corporate tax on mining profits of up to 20 per cent and 30 per cent, increasing mineral royalty tax from 0.6 per cent to 3 per cent of gross value and introducing withholding tax at the rate of 15 per cent on interest, royalties, management fees and payment to affiliate companies or sub-contractors in the mining sectors.  However, there will be no withholding tax on dividends accruing to foreign shareholders.

Hon. Opposition Member: Shame!

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, this is unacceptable because the investors bought into well developed mines.

Mr Mwila: Harmer!

Mr Kapeya: The investors bought into well developed mines and therefore, did not spend on greenfield operations. I repeat that they did not spend on greenfield operations. The new tax on excess profit of up to 15 per cent of taxable income above eight per cent of gross income is a welcome development. The windfall tax is long overdue and Zambia may not benefit much since metal prices especially for copper may fall in the environment of global economy uncertainty.

The Budget spoke about hedging. If hedging has been treated as a mining activity, then it means that the development agreements allowed impunity to foreign mining companies. This is because hedging against currency risks in a financial operation quite separate from the activity of mining. It is not an input in the mining activities.

Rev. Nyirongo: Bamilembelani nibandani?

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, on the basis of the statement on page 19 …

Mr Sichilima: On a point of order, Sir.

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, I need your guidance as a matter of procedure. Is the hon. Member debating and quoting figures so well in order to come and read a speech as if he is also a hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning.


Mr Sichilima: Mr Speaker, is he in order? I need your serious ruling.


The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the ruling on that point of order is that since he is dealing with figures, it is necessary to refer to copiers notes. Therefore, I think he is in order. You may proceed.

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I thank you very much for your protection. Let me now come to the NCC. We are informed that over K300 billion plus has been allocated to the constitution making process.

Hon. Members: How do you know?

Mr Kapeya: It is in the Budget.

Mr Speaker, no wonder some of us who have not gone to the NCC have been labelled as cowards who fear to become rich.


Mr Kapeya: Surely, some points of order have been raised in this Chamber and nicknames have been given to some church leaders as ‘Mr telephones.’ However, all of us have come to the line of rail in search of money. Can, surely, somebody refuse to accept riches? There must be something wrong in somebody refusing to accept money, unless his upstairs have gone Tokyo.

Hon. Members: Withdraw!

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, can you withdraw that word?

Mr Kapeya: Mr Speaker, I withdraw the phrase.

Those of us who have not gone to the NCC have been pronounced as the best candidates to enter the Chainama Hills Hospital.


Mr Kapeya: We have been dubbed as prophets of doom. The amount of K300 billion plus, which has been allocated to the NCC in this year’s Budget, is attractive. Why have some members of the PF, Oasis Forum, Zambia Episcopal Conference, Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia and Christian Council of Zambia …

Hon. Members: They are there!

Mr Kapeya: The reason is very clear and it can be appreciated by everyone. I will not speak on behalf of the churches because most of the churches found in Zambia, today; you will agree with me that they are splinter groups which were formed after the MMD Government declared Zambia a Christian Nation.

During the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, only two churches existed in Zambia. These were the Church of Scotland which was sometimes called the Free Church and the Catholic Church. This information is found in the Monkton Report of 1960.


Mr Kapeya: Let me speak for my party PF. On 12th October, 2007, the PF wrote to the President of the Republic of Zambia in which some concerns were raised on the composition of the NCC. However, to date, there has been no response from His Excellency, the President. How then do you expect the PF to go to the NCC which started sitting in December last year? The fact is that the PF has not yet been cleared by the father of the nation on its concerns. For sure, once His Excellency the President cares to respond to the letter in question, the PF will then make a move on the NCC matter.

I thank you, Sir.

Hon. Member: Which Patriotic Front?


Mr Mukanga (Kantanshi): Mr Speaker, I thank you for giving me this opportunity to also add my voice and the voice of Kantanshi on this important Motion.

From the onset, let me state that I am not here to impress anyone. I am not a choir master and neither am I going to sing a chorus to a song which you do not know. I will always say the truth as I have always done in the past. I will call a spade a spade and not a silver spoon. As usual, I will always oppose unacceptable issues and applaud good ones because I have been consistent to that effect.

Mr Speaker, allow me to quote from Ellen Kelley …

Mr Shakafuswa: On point of order, Sir!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Mr Shakafuswa: Mr Speaker, I rise on a very serious point of order. Is the hon. Member who is debating in order not to shorten his speech so that we can spiritually go and cheer the Zambia National Team. I need your serious ruling.

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the Chair, had made a ruling earlier on that Parliamentary work takes precedence over any other work. Will the hon. Member continue, please.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, allow me to quote from Ellen Kelley because she contributed so much to the vulnerable, the blind, and my father was a blind school teacher. Ellen stated:

 “Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

Ellen Kelley’s friend, C. R. Rose started,

“Unless you try to do something beyond what you have mastered, you will not grow.”

Mr Speaker, there will be no growth until people start to do things that are beyond what they have already mastered. I would like to state that I found the Presidential Speech unattractive, long and boring at the same time. No wonder some of the people who are supposed to be implementing were listening to that speech ‘attentively’ with their eyes closed. They were almost in a dozing position. How can they implement issues which the President stressed so much? How can they implement issues which were so cardinal? There were some issue that the President might have stressed with passion, but if they were not listening to him, how do they implement that?

Mr Speaker, there can be a good speech, but if the implementers or would be implementers do not know how to implement it, everything else will work. Implementation is cardinal. I would like to state that when the President was stressing some of the issues, he even broke off so that people may understand. However, these hon. Ministers were not even there for him. If cameras were able to show of television, some of them would have been embarrassed.

Sir, I would like to concur with the President when he said he would like to thank the hon. Members who were elected to this House. I would like to thank those Members of Parliament and also the people who voted for us in those by-elections. I have in mind the people of Nchanga who gave the PF unwavering support. They came in numbers and gave the PF that vote. We, as PF, salute them because they proved a point that they would not be bought by the number of fertiliser bags that the MMD distributed and would not be bought by the amount of money that was distributed. They resolved to give the PF a vote and they did just that.

Mr Speaker, with regard to some of the issues that the President raised, I would like to talk about corruption. The fight against corruption would not be won unless we sit down and review how we have fought this fight.

The Deputy Chairperson: Order, the Chair would like to be clear. How do you relate that to the Budget Speech?

Mr Mukanga: I thank you, Speaker, that is the Budget …


Mr Mukanga: … because when you talk about corruption …

Ms Mulasikwanda: On a point of order, Sir!

The Deputy Chairperson: A point of order is raised.

Ms Mulasikwanda: Sir, is the hon. Member for Kantanshi in order to debate His Excellency’s Speech that has already been debated by the hon. Members of this House when, this evening, we are tackling the Budget speech? I seek your serious ruling, Sir.

Hon. Government Members: Hear, hear!

The Deputy Chairperson: Well, the point of order is coming at a point where the Chair had tried to ask the hon. Member on the Floor of the House to link his debate to the Budget Speech and I hope he is going to do that.

Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, I thank you for your guidance.

When the hon. Minister of Finance and National Planning was discussing the Budget, he talked about accountability and the need to re-enforce and strengthen the office of the Auditor-General.

It is for this reason that I am talking about corruption. The fight against corruption cannot be won unless we review it. We have been talking about corruption everyday including the hon. Minister but despite us spending a lot of time discussing this corruption, on the list of the most corrupt countries, Zambia has moved from where it was to a higher rank. This means that Zambians today are more corrupt than they were before. It is for this reason that I am saying that this issue needs to be addressed. It is also important to look at the fight against corruption because in Zambia, corruption has now become a white collar issue. It is important that this issue is addressed because in the Government offices, there is a lot of corruption going on.

Sir, we have heard of houses being bought in Ibex Hill. We have also heard of the Pajeros which are bought and given to people and the media have not done anything about it. That is why it is important for the Freedom of Information Bill to come to this House so that there will be that discussion in as far as knowledge sharing is concerned.

Mr Speaker, it is important to talk about corruption. In this Budget, we have seen that the Ministry of Home Affairs have been provided with K60 billion to be used for accommodation of Police Officers. In this regard, I want to state that K60 billion is not enough. If one house costs K60 million, it means that we are going to build 1,000 houses. Now, if you divide the 1,000 houses by seventy-two districts, you will have thirteen houses per district.

Mr Speaker, the ministry again wants to employ 1,500 Police Officers. If you divide this number by seventy-two districts, it is going to give us twenty. Already, there is a shortfall in as far as accommodation is concerned. Therefore, these police officers are subjected to issues or to situations which are tempting. In the first place, their salaries are very low. They are getting about K700,000 per month which cannot even make them buy good shoes. They have no raincoats at work. Even their children cannot go to schools and so how are they going to fight and resist this corruption? There is a temptation unless some of these issues are fought thoroughly.

Sir, this syndrome of, “tizamwa bwanji, a Boss”, at roadblocks will continue. What it means is that every time you are passing a roadblock, they will say, “what shall we drink, Boss?” This means that they are asking for cash so that they can mitigate certain factors at home because they do not have enough money. It is important that we provide these watchdog institutions with a lot of money so that they will be able to carryout a proper job.

Sir, I also want to state that the Auditor-General’s Report of 2004 highlighted a lot of issues and the Anti-Corruption Commission was a culprit.


Mr Mukanga: Mr Speaker, let me start with the Task Force on Page 40. We were told that they were involved in a lot of issues such as unconstitutional expenditures, weaknesses in internal control and poor record keeping. We were also told that there was a time when twenty vehicles were surrendered to the Task Force and the record is as follows and I quote:

“A review of record of the Task Force revealed that twenty motor vehicles valued at K1.2 billion were recovered, gazetted and fortified to the Government. A physical inspection of the motor vehicles carried out in September, 2005 revealed the following:

1. there were seven ceased motor vehicles that were being used by Task Force in their operations.

2. of the seven motor vehicles, one BMW 320 was involved in a road accident and was damaged beyond repair. However, no police and loss reports were processed.

3. another vehicle, a Toyota Camry had its engine dismantled and pressed in the boot.

4. the motor vehicles have been subjected to unfavourable weather conditions for a long period resulting in accelerated wear and tear.”

Mr Speaker, if such things are being found in the Task Force which is a watchdog institution, the fight against corruption will not be won. The culprits who are involved in these acts were supposed to be brought to book. Why are we talking about corruption and say we will strengthen the Auditor-General’s Office when the culprits are going free.

The Deputy Chairman: Order!

(Debate adjourned)


The Minister of Defence (Mr Mpombo): Mr Speaker, I beg to move that the House do now adjourn.

Question put and agreed to.


The House adjourned at 1915 hours until 1430 hours on Thursday, 31st January, 2008. {mospagebreak}






83. Dr Kalumba (Chienge) asked the Minister of Works and Supply when construction of the bridge initiated in 2002 at Mwabu on the Luano River in Chienge Parliamentary Constituency will be completed.

The Minister of Works and Supply (Mr Simbao): The Ministry wishes to report that in 1999, the Office of the Vice-President purchased bailey bridge components through funding obtained from the USAID. The Office of the Vice-President through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) identified five sites including Mwabu where the planned bailey bridges were to be constructed.

The contractor to construct the bailey bridges at all the five sites was awarded to Messrs. Namerit Enterprises in 2000. The supervision contract was awarded to Messrs. Brian Colquhoun, Hugh O’Donnel and Partners in 2000.

The progress as of end of 2000 comprised the construction of both abutments to seat level. The DMMU has not handed over the project for contract administration to the Road Development Agency to date.

It is, therefore, not known when the bailey bridge components that were delivered to the province would be utilised for the bridge construction or when works will resume and be completed. The works have remained the same since 2002. However, the reinforced steel has been vandalised by the local people.

I thank you, Mr Speaker.